Thursday, 27 October 2016

Price caps are welcomed

Price caps are always welcome

The Energy Advice Line has welcomed hints from Prime Minister Theresa May that she will tighten rules governing energy prices and even extend price caps to protect more consumers.

"We welcome any measures that will bring suppliers into line and ease the burden on energy consumers," said Julian Morgan, managing director of the price comparison, switching and advice service.

"Suppliers have had ample opportunity to get their houses in order and start giving consumers a fair deal when it comes to prices.

"Although there have been some improvements, suppliers have continued to increase tariffs for some consumers by unreasonable amounts, in the face of falling wholesale prices. The government will now have to force their hand."

Following a two-year investigation into the UK's energy market, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will soon introduce price caps for four million households that use pre-payment meters. The CMA's original proposals in 2015 would have protected more households, however, then Prime Minister David Cameron watered these down, and resitricted price caps to the most vulnerable energy users.

But Mrs May signaled at the Conservative Party Conference earlier this month that this protection did not go far enough. "It's just not right that two-thirds of energy customers are stuck on the most expensive tariff," she said.

Mrs May was referring to the vast majority of energy consumers who do not switch contracts or suppliers, remaining instead on standard tariffs that can be hundreds of pounds more expensive than the cheapest fixed deals.

"Huge number of consumers languish on the most expensive standard tariffs because suppliers do little to persuade them to move to something cheaper,"

Mr Morgan said, "After all, suppliers make most of their profits from customers who do this.

"Although it's also the responsibility of consumers to shop around for their energy and switch to the cheapest tariffs, suppliers should not be allowed to take advantage of those who don't.

"That's why we would welcome the extension of price caps to protect more consumers."

Mr Morgan added that the introduction of price caps would not obviate the need for consumers to shop around for energy.

"Shopping around for the best deals and switching suppliers accordingly will always lead to bigger savings than doing nothing and resorting to the protection of a price cap," Mr Morgan said.

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

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Spain leads the way on renewables

Spain leads the way on renewables

Spain will become one of the first countries to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy - with 29 million of its homes currently being run on wind power alone.

Miguel Ezpeleta, director of one of Spain's top energy companies, predicted the country will become 100 reliable on renewable energy in the future. He spoke with Australian news, claiming that “The important thing is to predict and forecast what is going to happen. I think people are going to tell me we're crazy but I'm pretty sure we'll arrive at 100 per cent for one moment for sure.”

Located in Pamplona, the firm currently monitors 9,500 wind turbines across the world. Last November saw a new nighttime record where wind energy provided 70 per cent of the country's energy supply. Prior to that the daytime record was set in January 2015, during this time 54 per cent of the energy used in Spain was produced by wind power alone.

Spain currently sits over three quarters of the way towards it's renewable energy targets as assigned by the European Union. The target for spain is 20 per cent of energy to come from renewables by 2020, with their current level and 17.4 per cent.

As with any story on energy news, specifically renewables, critics have been quick to point out the flaws. Focussing on renewables has, thus far, not made any impact on the affordability of energy. Some have suggested that there has been a 60 per cent price increase over the past 10 years.

Consumers can still save money if they are savvy with their energy useage, and making sure that they are always on the most competitive tariff.

Saving on energy doesn't just come from making sure your lights are turned off, you may be paying over the odds just for remaining loyal to your supplier. Recent studies have shown that in some cases the best deals are only available to new customers - meaning there is no benefit or discount for remaining loyal to a brand.

Make sure that you are always paying the best prices on the market for your energy by comparing the market with The free and impartial comparison service also offers a free energy advice line to business consumers.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Your energy bills could rise once more

Your energy bills could rise once more

A number of fixed tariff deals will be coming to an end on October 31.

Anyone currently on these tariffs, including both domestic and business users, could see their electricity and gas bills rising by over £100 from next month.

Deals such as these expire all the time, which is why it is always important to keep an eye on your bills and be aware of when your contract is about to come to an end. Allowing your contract to rollover means you stand being charged at the out of contract prices - these prices are a lot higher than the rates used to bring in new customers, and many families and companies find themselves stung by a bill much higher than it should be.

The best way to combat this is to make sure you switch your deal to something more competitive. Brand loyalty doesn't always pay so don't be afraid to swap your supply to someone new.

The tariffs ending this month include EDF energy's Blue+ Fixed PrePay, Scottish Power's Online Fixed Price, and a selection of First:Utility's iSave Fixed tariffs. Not sure if these changes apply to you? Take a look at your last bill and find out your current contract details.

Unsure of how you can start saving? Is the market too unclear for you to make the best choice? Give the energyadviceline a ring and find out just how easy it is to start saving on your energy tariff. Consumers who switch stand to save hundreds of pounds every year.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Energy demand to peak by 2030

Will energy use decline from 2030?

The World Energy Council has released their predictions this week that the global demand for energy will reach its peak by 2030. This is thanks, in part, to a combination of new technologies entering the market and governments creating stricter policies.

Reporting on a range of scenarios for global energy usage, the academics, energy companies and public sector bodies discovered that there would be a 'new world' for the energy industry. The council is the UN-accredited global energy body.

They presented the findings at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, along with the predction that after the year 2030, energy usage will decline per person - including transport fuels, heating and electricity.

Thanks to developments in technology for the sector, use of renewable energy is growing and anticipated to grow faster as coal and oil will start to fade away. The group indicates that while 4% of power generation comes from renewables, this should be approximately 39% by 2060.

While these demands will fall, the report also shows that demand for electricity will have doubled by 2060, which requires a greater investment in the infrastructure systems that promote energy efficiency.

Three scenarios were proposed by the council that would enable the assessment of different energy use areas. These options see the use of fossil fuels ranging from 50% to 70% of energy by 2060.

Developments such as electric cars instead of petrol and diesel will help this progress, but is thought to be one of the most difficult obstacles in the plan. However two of them theorise that oil production will peak and beging to fall in 2030, with the third predicting it to plateau until 2040.

Currently oil powers 92% of vehicles with this expected to fall as low as 60% with the rise in electric powered motors.

It was also reported that maintaing global warming below 2C requires an 'exceptional effort' which would be far beyond the commitments that have already been pledged.

To accompany this reduced demand they also predict that the growth of the population will slow down, new technologies will be developed, environmental challenges will grow, and a change in economic and geopolitical power.

In the mean time, it always pays to conserve your energy usage as it brings your bills down as well. To find out how you can start saving energy, and in turn money, call one of the agents at the price comparison and switching service