Energylinx News

April 2017 Monthly Archive

April 20, 2017

Over half a million customers switched energy supplier in March

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Energy UK released switching numbers for the first 3 months of 2017. They show an increase of 13% in March 2017 compared to the same month in 2016 with a total of 536,658 UK households switching energy supplier. That brings the amount of energy switches to above 1.3 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Last month consumers switching from larger to small and mid-tier suppliers represented more than a quarter of all switches (27%) reaching just over 145,000.

Switch to Save before the Price Hike

There's been increased press coverage around price increases from five of the "Big Six" energy suppliers. British Gas have announced a price freeze until August this year.

• E.On is increasing electricity prices by an average of 13.8%, and gas prices by 3.8%, on 26th April.
• SSE raised gas prices 14.9% effective from April 28th.
• Npower raised its standard tariff electricity prices by 15% from 16th March and gas prices by 4.8%.
• Scottish Power's standard electricity prices increased by an average of 10.8% and gas by 4.7% on 31st March.
• EDF putting up prices for the second time this year. From June 21st customers will pay 9% more for electricity and gas prices will increase by 5%.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said:

"1.3m consumers switching already this year is further demonstration of competition in action in the retail market. Competition is driving up standards, innovation and investment as suppliers compete to keep and attract new customers. There has never been a better time to check you are on the best deal for you - and the Energy Switch Guarantee gives consumers extra confidence the process will be simple, speedy and safe."

We would urge any customers to run a comparison and see what they could save today. Energylinx offer a free and impartial switching service. You can do it online or by calling one of our expert advisors on 01259 220000.

Posted on April 20, 2017 at 09:48 AM

April 12, 2017

1.5m EDF customers face higher bills this year

LifetimeStock-246607-L.jpg "Big Six" Energy Supplier, EDF, has announced further rises in gas and electricity prices for UK customers. The energy company has blaming rising wholesale prices and the costs of delivering UK energy policy for the decision.

The supplier was the first major energy provider to announce an increase in electricity prices last December. Four of the other "big six" providers have since followed suit, with only British Gas keeping prices on hold.

From 21 June, customers on EDF's standard tariff will see electricity prices increase by 9% and gas prices go up by 5.5%.

The supplier previously increased electricity prices by 8.4% on 1 March, although it cut gas prices in January.

The two rises together will affect around 1.5m customers, and lead to a whopping 8.5% increase in bills for a dual fuel direct debit customer. This equates to an extra £78 a year and an average annual bill of £1,160. The bulk of EDF's customers (1.8 million) are on fixed term deals, so will not be affected until their deal ends.

The energy regulator, Ofgem, has criticised the decision. Dermot Nolan, its chief executive, said:

"EDF's second price rise in four months, when there has not been a dramatic rise in wholesale energy prices since it last put up prices, is difficult to justify and is further evidence that the energy market is not working in all consumers' interests."

So far this year, 5 of the "Big Six" energy suppliers have announced price increases with only British Gas announcing a "prize freeze" until August.

• E.On is increasing electricity prices by an average of 13.8%, and gas prices by 3.8%, on 26th April.
• SSE raised gas prices 14.9% effective from April 28th.
• Npower raised its standard tariff electricity prices by 15% from 16th March and gas prices by 4.8%.
• Scottish Power's standard electricity prices increased by an average of 10.8% and gas by 4.7% on 31st March.

Energylinx would like to urge all customers that are on a standard tariff to compare the whole market and see what deals are available to you. You could take hundreds off your annual energy bill in just a few minutes. You can use our website or call one of our friendly advisers who will sort it for you and answer any questions you may have. The number to ring is 01259 220000.

Posted on April 12, 2017 at 02:14 PM

April 3, 2017

Ofgem promises new security for consumers from back-billing

Energy Bill Back Paying Energy suppliers will no longer be able to charge customers for gas and electricity used more than 12 months ago, under new rules proposed by regulator Ofgem.

This would mean if a customer has been paying an incorrect amount on their energy bills, their energy supplier won't be able to bill them for anything that they owe from more than 12 months ago.

Currently, energy suppliers have a voluntary agreement that was put in to place in 2007. Ofgem is now concerned, in part due to receiving case studies from Citizens Advice, that the voluntary principle is not being applied consistently and that not all suppliers have appropriate back-billing protections in place.

Back-bills mainly result from suppliers using estimated bills until they take an actual meter reading which may show that the customer's consumption is higher than expected. Suppliers then send a 'catch-up' bill to recover the difference. Sometimes this can result in large amounts being owed and financial difficulties for the customer to pay it back.

Rachel Fletcher, Senior Partner, Ofgem said:

"Getting billing right is an essential part of customer service, but when things go wrong we want to ensure that all customers benefit from the same protection against back-billing. We cannot be certain that this is the case now under the voluntary commitment. We expect suppliers to put their customers first, which is why we are proposing a new enforceable rule to provide this protection."

Ofgem is also considering whether to introduce a shorter time limit on supplier's back-billing customers as smart meters are rolled out. Smart meters enable suppliers to remotely obtain actual, rather than estimated meter readings, which should allow them to reduce the length of time they need to back-bill these customers.

Ofgem expects the new rule to go live this winter.

Posted on April 3, 2017 at 02:44 PM