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Recently I seem to receive a variety of mail from Gas and Electricity companies, including doorstep cold calls regarding increased fuel prices, energy savings and the like. The other day we received 4 low energy light bulbs for free from British Gas, followed the next day, by another letter offering 'capped prices' as a 'very limited availability' offer.
The question that I ask: Is the providers of these essential services really interested in saving the public money, or is there something else!.
Even our local council sponsored Energy Advice Shop, seems to be confused as to what is on actual offer at any one given time. One point that was raised, is the way some contracts are causing concern, especially regarding large cancellation fees. Another point was, 'will competition for customers' prove to be a factor for hanging on, before committing oneself.
A little while ago, during a converation about a fixed price contract, an energy company said to me "But you must switch Mr JYPX. You would be mad not to!"
I had to rack my brains to try & recall the last time that I had heard that exact phrase. Eventually it came to me. It was in the 1980's when my local Building Society branch manager was making a futile attempt to sell me an endownment mortgage.
Could I perhaps suggest that my last paragraph in the introduction, might suggest something is amiss.Even the experts who deal with these matters on a daily basis are becoming confused and concerned. Perhaps trying to fool the public by 'gestures of goodwill and concern' which the utility companies are marketing, can wear a little thin, especially for those on the bottom scale of the survival ladder, who always seem to fair out the worse in matters like this.
Even the government in an act of bravado are suggesting ex-gratia payments of £150 for certain sectors of the public. Of course this will not effect the governments budget to much, due to the increase of revenue that the government will receive from the utility companies.I bet though, that the majority of deserving people will fall in the 'catch 22' situation!.
Even our local water board, who was fined heavily for overcharging and false accounting of service provisions, are predicting price increases, so as to keep their head above water.
I checked out on of these comparision websites at the standard BG tarrif based on our consumption was £1045/year. Looking down the page I found the BG capped till 2011 rate ...... £1545/year! £500 per year extra to keep my rate fixed till 2011.
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