Monday, 27 June 2016

Competition and Market Authority Report 2016

Competition and Market Authority Report 2016

The Competition and Market Authority released their industry report last week. Despite the EU Referendum stealing the headlines, there is news that could be positive for the consumer. 

Government deals favouring suppliers are due to come to an end - currently energy providers are healthily rewarded for building power stations and generating energy. 

Often there is a set price for each unit of energy generated and this money goes towards the construction of infrastructure, usually an expensive implementation. 

However, these prices not only come from public money as a levy on bills but are also exceeding the current market rates. While it costs an additional £11 to every home owner's bill, annually it adds up to £310m. 

The CMA have put forward a recommendation that these deals should be awarded through auction, in turn saving the Government and consumers millions of pounds - in turn reducing their bills. 

You can start the savings early, and keep on top of them, by always ensuring your supply is coming from the provider with the cheapest rates. Energy Advice Line offer a free and unbiased comparison and switching service for both domestic and business consumers. To find out more and start the process visit
Read the full report here.

Monday, 20 June 2016

CMA to post industry investigation

CMA to publish industry report during referendum

It's fair to say that publishing any kind of report on the day of the EU referendum means it will promptly be overlooked in favour of other news.

The Competitions and Market Authority will be releasing their industry findings later this week, however a lot has changed since it's launch two years ago. Massive price hikes from the Big Six have been taken on by the independent suppliers and the big suppliers are losing their hold over the market, but we're not safe from price hikes yet.

There will be four key pillars to the report on Thursday and speculation is well under way as to what the outcome will be.

Scale - CMA agrees that households are paying too much, and suppliers are still standing by their claims that the figures are 'nonsense'.

Price caps - one proposal is for customers with pre payment meters to receive a price cap, as these consumers are the most likely to be excluded from the best deals on the market.

Spam - a new database has been created from the details of customers who have not switched for three or more years, highlighting the importance and ease of switching. Needless to say, suppliers aren't keen on giving away their customer's data so suppliers can undercut them.

Tariff restrictions - this will enable suppliers to offer exclusive deals to new customers, while excluding existing customers from receiving the benefits.

Time will tell what is to become of the CMA report, in the meantime our advice remains the same - searching the market for the best deals will always be the way to ensure you're getting the best price on your energy spend. The service with is always free and impartial, taking the hassle out of switching and saving.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Big Six market hold is slipping

Big Six market hold is slipping

New research shows that one in six energy customers are now actively choosing an independent supplier. This has grown from one in eight dual-fuel customers over the past year and is predict to grow still.

Cornwall Energy conducted a survey finding that 17.4% of dual-fuel customers now received their supply from independent suppliers, such as themselves.

Robert Buckley, director of Cornwall Energy, said: "This data shows one of the biggest shifts to independents in the past 12 months."

The Big Six consists of British Gas, EDF Energy, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power, and SEE. Combined they have lost a total of around 7.1 million customers to independent suppliers since 2011. The dual-fuel market share of the big six has fallen from 99.3 per cent in 2011 to 82.6 per cent in 2016.

Aloing side this new research from Which? has found the cost gap between the cheapest dual fuel tariff and a standard dual fuel tariff from one of the so-called 'Big Six' suppliers has soared up to 81% in the last two years. The cheapest dual fuel deal available has increased from £182 to £329 since 2014.

At one point during its research in February 2016, Which? found that people on standard tariffs could save £400 a year by switching away from the Big Six suppliers to the cheapest tariff.

A standard tariff is what you are moved onto once your energy deal comes to an end, but these tend to be very expensive. Millions are thought to be on these tariffs with the Big Six and paying much more than they need to.

Make sure that the price you're paying is fair, use an independent price comparison service such as - and make the most of the free switching service and account management.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Consumers left out of pocket

Scam leaves businesses hundreds of pounds out of pocket

The Energy Advice Line has urged small and medium sized firms to hang up on cold callers offering to help them with their energy bills after an investigation was launched into a scam that leaves businesses hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

Julian Morgan, managing director of the price comparison, switching and advice service, said the swindle was further evidence that Ofgem should outlaw cold calling.

“The investigation into this fraudulent activity highlights what we have been saying for some time: businesses need to avoid dealing with cold callers,” Mr Morgan said.

“The majority of cold callers are not fraudsters, of course, but for many reasons it’s better to politely hang up on unsolicited callers offering cheap energy deals or anything else to do with their energy supplies.

“Cold callers are unlikely to be offering the cheapest deals on the market because they are often calling on behalf of a particular supplier, despite what they say to the contrary.

“Worse, they could be fraudsters trying to steal your money.

“Reputable and independent switching services don’t need to engage in call calling, so just hang up on anyone that calls out of the blue.”

Trading Standards officers in Nottinghamshire have launched an investigation into a company that targets pubs, cafes and takeaways offering to claim back up to £6000 on their utility bills.

The fraudsters, operating under a number of company names, arrange for “auditors” to review a business’ energy bills and then persuade the owners to sign an agreement to claim back money.

The signed-up business later receives a telephone call purporting to be from their energy supplier, who apologizes for overcharging them. The fraudsters complete their scam by persuading the business to sign a contract that contains a £325 fee in the small print.

“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and this applies to getting money back from energy companies or basic energy deals,” Mr Morgan said.

“If you believe you might have been overcharged for your energy – and this does happen due to malfunctioning meters or billing mistakes, contact your energy supplier directly.

“And when it comes to shopping around for the best deals, always do this through a reputable price comparison and switching service like the Energy Advice Line. This way you know you are getting independent advice.”

The Energy Advice Line is one of the UK's leading price comparison and switching services for business and domestic energy customers. It is also an advocate for energy market reform and has campaigned for a better deal for energy users, including calling for a ban on cold calling and changes to regulations to make it easier for all consumers to switch suppliers.

The service is completely independent and free. Consumers can quickly and simply search the market for the best available energy deals from an extensive panel of small and large energy suppliers. The service also offers a free advice line for business energy customers.

For further information visit