There probably isn’t anyone in the UK who would say they are pleased with their monthly energy bill. And why should they? Almost every month, it seems that the bills keep getting bigger. The trend is certainly accelerating this winter, as our weather has been fairly harsh and everyone has to use more energy to heat their homes, offices and factories. Is it just the sign of the times, or is there something afoot? There are those in Parliament who think that the Big Six energy providers are actually inflating prices, partly to generate greater profits, partly due to poor buying decisions. The controversy is swirling.
The Charges Are Levied
There are members of the Labour party who insist that the Big Six energy companies, who control over 98% of the UK energy market, have overcharged consumers an average of £150 over the last three years. They analysed some official figures, and came to the conclusion that either by attempting to increase the profits of their own power plants, or buying energy on the open market at inflated prices, they have cost the UK economy £4 billion more than the average market rate would justify. Who can provide an independent judgment? Unfortunately, Ofgem, the energy regulator, said that they did not have enough transparency to be able to make a reasonable judgment call. It therefore appears that no one can accurately answer the question. But members of the Labour Party insist that they can prove their point.
Disputing the Charges
Naturally, when these types of accusations are made, you can certainly expect a response. In this case, it came from Energy UK, the organisation that represents the Big Six energy companies. They countered that buying energy was not such a simple process, that various prices are in effect at various times and that calculating the cost is more than just looking at the market rate and making a comparison. If it sounds complex, it certainly is. Is it true? Chances are, nobody really knows the answer, but the ensuing controversy has caused Ofgem to act. Starting in early January, energy companies will not be allowed to offer their customers many different complex tariffs, such as paying more for energy initially, with the rate falling if more is consumed. Each energy company will only be allowed to offer four different tariffs for gas and four different tariffs for electricity. Hopefully, this will clear up some of the confusion. But there is no doubt that with these latest accusations from Labour, the Big Six will be a little more cautious when purchasing their wholesale energy.
Enjoy Your Energy Consumption
Understandably, we all want to have our homes properly heated, so that we can be comfortable, especially during these challenging winter months. We also like being able to use our television screens and all of our domestic appliances. But one very affordable luxury that many people have begun to consider is a shower cabin. This is not just your regular shower, mind you. They feature multiple jets, which can massage and cleanse the entire body, are extremely functional, attractive and amazingly affordable. Anyone that wants to pamper themselves just a little bit should definitely consider buying one.
Image courtesy of: freedigitalphotos.net Salvatore Vuono