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Rules for best energy deals ‘baffling’

New rules designed to simplify energy customers' search for cheaper average utility bills aren't going far enough, claims a consumer watchdog. Power regulator Ofgem's standardised tariff reforms have left two in three consumers still unable to work out the best deal, according to Which?

The consumer watchdog asked people to identify the cheapest deal using the standard tariffs of the 'big six' energy suppliers - British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE.

Only a third ...

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Will complaints against ‘Big Six’ be enough to force inquiry?

Energy consumers made over 5.5 million complaints to the "Big Six" power providers last year, according to new figures. But will this be enough to force a full competition inquiry into the energy industry? A consumer champion hopes so.

Which? is calling on regulators to refer an industry it claims is "broken" to the Competition and Markets Authority. The watchdog says the Office of Fair Trading and Ofgem should get the authority to investigate whether competition is working for consumers and how it could be ...

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How many people are in debt to utility companies?

Well over a million UK consumers were in debt to energy suppliers last year, a new report reveals.

But Ofgem says despite the rise in utility bill debts, the number of gas and electricity disconnections fell to an all-time low, totalling just 557.

The energy regulator's annual Social Obligations Report shows 5% of energy accounts - 1.3 million electricity accounts and 1.1 million gas - were in debt. But the number of agreed repayment plans also increased in ...

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Good Energy: Utility provider review

If you're the environmentally-aware type, you may have come across Good Energy. The only provider to supply 100% of their energy through renewable sources, it's becoming well-known amongst those who take their impact on the environment very seriously. It has 26,000 electricity, 2,500 gas, and 1,079 micro-generating customers across the UK, and pledges to replace every unit of energy used by its customers with a unit of energy from renewable sources – wind, small-scale hydro and solar. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Here, we'll weigh up the pros and cons of choosing Good Energy as your supplier. Firstly, let's consider ...

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Household energy use drops 24.7%

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), families are using nearly a quarter less energy than they were in 2005. Though the obvious explanation for this is that we're all tightening our belts and becoming more conscious of what we spend,it seems that some energy saving initiatives are also starting to pay off. Home improvements such as loft and wall cavity insulation and new boilers are thought to have made a difference to the overall levels of energy usage, and many of these were funded through government schemes. Another reason for lower usage is the introduction of energy rating ...

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Will steps to push down utility bills drive them up?

"Why is my electric bill so high?" has been an popular refrain among households throughout Britain recently.

That's why the Government introduced an energy efficiency scheme aimed at tackling fuel poverty by making homes more energy-efficient.

But is this new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) about to backfire, with the switches proving so expensive that they risk driving average utility bills up? British Gas owner Centrica thinks so.

The company, which ...

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Kettle ignorance adds £68m to the nation’s utility bill each year

How many minutes does the average Brit spend in the shower a week? How could we make better energy savings? And why is kettle ignorance adding £68 million to our utility bill every year?

All these questions and more have been answered in a new study of 86,000 British homes by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) Foundation. It shows that three-quarters of British households are squandering £68 million each year by overfilling the kettle.

The average person spends ...

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First Utility Customers Face 18.6% Price Increase

Around 32,000 First Utility customers will see their bills rise by 18.6% from the 1st June 2013.  The hike will impact those on the iSave v12 variable tariff. The company's founder, Darren Braham said: "The network costs, the increasing price of wholesale energy and the social and environmental obligations mandated by the Government have meant that we regretfully need to increase our prices." This isn't the first time that First Utility has hit the media as a result of their questionable price increases. Back in December 2010, regulator Ofgem described price rises for new customers shortly after they had signed up as "extremely concerning ...

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