Blog: Cut the rhetoric and just reduce energy bills!

Are you worried about your gas and electricity bills? Do you want a better deal from your energy supplier and learn how to cut costs? Well who wouldn’t? It’s obvious […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Are you worried about your gas and electricity bills? Do you want a better deal from your energy supplier and learn how to cut costs?

Well who wouldn’t? It’s obvious isn’t it, nobody wants to pay more? So as we enter Big Energy Saving Week I sat and thought to myself what’s the point of it all? All the guff saying we want to help you, here’s how to insulate, have you thought about switching? Have you thought about turning off all your heating and wrapping yourself in a duvet?

Of course consumers are worried and hell yes, they want to cut costs. But in essence what they really want to say is ‘Just stop hiking energy prices and that’ll suit me fine’.

But prices have gone up and by far more than inflation. SSE was the first supplier to announce a rise earlier this year, followed by British Gas, npower and Scottish Power. Now you could call them sheeple following each other mindlessly and trying to convince the public their percentage rise is fairer than their competitors’. They all claim wholesale prices affect their costs, so they all need to raise prices. All except E.ON who have stuck to their promise of not raising prices this winter.

So one week they put their prices up and this week they are all part of a campaign to help you cut energy to save money. Hmmm why raise the prices in the first place one could argue? But is that being unfair to the big 6?

During Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign which does what it says on the tin, they have teamed up with citizen’s advice groups and will be encouraging customers to save money by cutting costs and getting the cheapest tariff. No doubt awareness will go up. Many people will swap suppliers and learn about insulation, draught proofing and using less energy, all good things.

According to Energy UK, trade body for the gas and electricity sector, energy firms will be spending around £275 million this year to help consumers, particularly the elderly and people on certain benefits with free or subsidised wall and loft insulation. Energy watchdog Ofgem also announced suppliers can only have four core tariffs for each fuel in an attempt to make the energy market “simpler, clearer and fairer” for consumers.

I understand the campaign is good for people wanting more information about cutting bills, but why do the ‘Big Six’ have to proclaim their support for customers in this way, when they aren’t going to do what most people want – cut energy prices.

Well, I guess we’ll just have to take the view that something is better than nothing. But if the big 6 really think one week of being “altruisitic” will make up for the other 51 when they are busy making profits I fear they may have got things wrong.