Ofgem has launched an official investigation into recent price hikes.Are We Paying Too Much For Our Energy?
Half of the main gas and electricity suppliers in the UK :- British Gas, Scottish & Southern and ScottishPower – have increased their prices in recent weeks. It has also come to light that this price rise increases the profit margins of each of these companies quite considerably! An increase of of around £25 per household, raising profit margins by over 35%!
Last week, ScottishPower said its customers' electricity bills would rise by an average of 8.9% while prices for gas customers would increase by 2%, a considerable amount for even the most energy conscious household! Meanwhile, Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has put up gas prices by 9.4% since the start of December. British Gas customers also face a 7% rise in utility bills this winter.
Jeremy Cryer from Gocompare.com welcomed the Ofgem investigation. “The £90 profit margin Ofgem refers to could be the difference between a comfortable winter and a miserable one for a lot of households as we move into the most expensive period for energy bills,” he said.
"This review shouldn't just be restricted to investigating recent price rises, however. The energy market is a classic example of one which has been allowed to remain deliberately complex.
“As a result many consumers do not have the confidence to take control of their own energy provision – more than 80% of households have not switched energy supplier in the past 12 months.”
At times like this efficiency becomes even more important, the difference between an open-fronted gas fire that is lucky to achieve 50% efficiency and a glass-fronted HE glas fire such as the Apex Capacious at up to 89% efficiency makes quite a considerable cost difference to run the fire, especially during the winter seasons when these appliances are most depended on.