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Capital or people - the energy market

(10 Posts)
Gracesgran Wed 03-Aug-16 08:58:51

There has been a lot on the news this morning about the energy market as there has been a report by Offgem. The speaker for the companies said, when asked why they don't just put people on the best tariff, that we would then not have a competitive market.

So, the only way a competitive market will work is to take more money off some consumers than they would otherwise pay. Who will those people be? Most likely those who are least able to help themselves and therefore often those, the elderly and infirm, who need the cheapest fuel they can have.

Surely it is time we stopped thinking a competitive market for everything is always the best and went back to the mixed economy?

whitewave Wed 03-Aug-16 09:46:17

Yes grace Apparently there are billions more paid to the energy companies than is necessary every year!!! This is definitely something that should be reconsidered for nationalisation. No chance with this government though.

Tegan Wed 03-Aug-16 10:13:45

No, really, there's nothing to worry about Gisela Stewart assured us on this very forum that, if we left the EU we wouldn't have to pay as much for our energy hmm.

Gracesgran Wed 03-Aug-16 10:22:12

Tegan grin[sadly]

Lazigirl Wed 03-Aug-16 13:56:34

My elderly mother is one of those lining the energy firms (shareholders) pockets. She won't let me change her supplier, too much hassle she says, and has her heating on even during the summer. I hope they sleep easy in their beds knowing that they are exploiting the elderly, poor and sick in order to be "competitive". I suppose this is how unfettered market economy works.

gillybob Wed 03-Aug-16 14:09:04

Surely by now, heating and lighting should be a basic human right. It should not be something that we choose to have/use rather than say eating or clothing our children. It makes me sick that energy companies deliberately rip off the poorest in society by charging them an arm and a leg to have these god awful pre-pay meters where they have to be topped up (often at the worst times) and charging above and beyond the going rate for the privilege.

I would like to see the government crack down on the profits of energy companies and force them into giving all customers their best tariff.

Charleygirl Wed 03-Aug-16 16:14:49

I would love to have a smart meter installed so that I had a better grip of what certain appliances cost me to run- this computer being top of the list!

M0nica Wed 03-Aug-16 20:12:10

Most prepayment meters are installed because the householder has been unable to cope with monthly or quarterly bills and has built up arrears. It is actually to help them budget and payback arrears.

I used to work in the energy industry and we did research into who the families were who had prepayment meters because the company wished to phase them out if they could. We were gobsmacked to discover a significant number were well-off professional families, who were financially disorganised and preferred prepayment meters to monthly direct debits because the direct debits often bounced because they had exceeded their overdraft limit.

Luckygirl Wed 03-Aug-16 20:16:06

It is bonkers and iniquitous. I have changed energy company twice - from A to B and back to A again, who suddenly offered a much better deal. In fact the process of changing is a doddle - basically you don't really have to do very much at all. But so many people do not bother; and the only way to have the competition is to have overcharging on some accounts - which is unacceptable.

Lazigirl Thu 04-Aug-16 09:56:23

When you check the "savings" in detail promised by swapping energy companies they are not easy to decipher or as great as you think, unless you are on a standard tariff that is. I have spent many a happy hour trawling through different deals only to find for all my efforts, savings are in fact minimal. We are a low energy user (new house) and savings are always shown as "average usage", which can be misleading. Then you find that company with best deal has shocking customer ratings......