Chaos rules! – but we will keep you posted

(updated 14:45 Nov 29) Energy bills have rarely been out of the news for the last few months, first with Ed Miliband promising a price freeze and breaking up the big six if Labour is elected in 2015, then we have had nearly all the energy suppliers announcing price rises.

As all our members know, we have been urging anyone to switch to a fixed tariff straight away.

This morning (well late last night) news was leaked via the BBC (opens in anew window) that the Government will announce a set of measures in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement (on December the 5th) that may reduce bills by about £50.

Last winter there were 31,000 “excess winter deaths” we hope that politicians will pull out all the stops to help make the UK’s housing stock more energy efficient and do their utmost to curb energy bill price rises.  
There is also talk that the costs and delivery of ECO, the Energy Company Obligation will be spread over 4 years rather than the current 27 months.  This will reduce bills in the short term, but will also mean that the energy efficient programme that ECO funds will be delayed.  We hope that the Government will look more closely at ECO – when we blogged on ECO we  argued that the money being used is not being spent in the best possible way in part because so many consumers don’t trust energy suppliers to help them reduce their usage.  Energybillrevolution and Which? are running campaigns to urge the Government to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock – something we passionately support.

Support the energybillrevolution (opens in a new window)

Support the Which? energy campaign (opens in a new window)

DECC have said that all this is speculation and that people need to wait until the Autumn Statement.

Earlier this week the Social Market Foundation announced that the energy sector is the least trusted of all consumer industries.

On a more ironic note after many conservatives condemned Miliband’s price freeze policy as a gimic that won’t work and will risk power cuts, now it seems that the government has asked Energy Suppliers to hold their price rises till the middle of next year.  Though a later report from the BBC  reports treasury officials have said this is not a price pledge.  This is chaos!

We think its good news for consumers in the short term that Miliband and Cameron appear to be in a competition to show that they are capable of getting spiralling energy costs under control.  However in the long term we urgently need to have an energy policy that prevents the huge number of deaths and stress that are unnecessarily happening due to the current situation.  (Hence we are urging people to support the Energybillrevolution and Which? campaigns.

In conclusion there is s a strong possibility that changes in ECO and other “green levies” mean that energy bills may go down by about £50 after December the 5th.

So should people put off switching till after the 5th December?

Our first instinct was to say “yes”, wait till after the Autumn statement – but on reflection, its probably best to switch now and if necessary cancel your switch if the Autumn statement gives a better deal.  

Over the next few days we have the following price rises coming in:

Scottish Power – price rises come into effect on 6th December

nPowerprice rises come into effect on December 1st

(British Gas have already raised their prices)

Make sure you are signed up with us before you switch and we will email you soon after the Autumn statement to let you know if you are better off cancelling your switch.  At the moment you are allowed from 7 – 14 days after you try to switch to change your mind – this is the so called “cooling off period” –  the length of time you have to change your mind is sent to you when you initiate a switch.

We are really sorry this is so complicated!


Categories: Collective Switching, Energy Efficiency, News and Uncategorized.