Thursday, 29 December 2016

Dual fuel bill costs remain high

Average dual fuel bill is not currently cheapest tariff
Business electricity users and householders were facing difficult decisions about their energy contracts, with wholesale prices dipping and some suppliers offering longer than usual fixed-rate deals, according to the Energy Advice Line.
Julian Morgan, managing director of the price comparison, switching and advice service for energy users, said lower wholesale energy prices and increased competition were creating opportunities for customers to lock in good deals.
But he said the trade-off for consumers who opted for longer-term price protection was potentially missing out on cheaper prices if energy costs continued to fall.

“Consumers are facing some difficult choices at the moment and they need to take expert advice,” Mr Morgan said.

“Some of the deals we are seeing are very attractive due to a dip in the price suppliers are paying for gas and electricity, and some of the benefits of a more competitive energy market starting to flow through.
“Consumers will be tempted by these deals, as well as the opportunity to lock them in for up to four years, which is longer than usual.

“But the flip side is that if energy prices fall further, which some experts predict that they will, consumers on fixed deals will miss out on those savings.

“Consumers need to consider the value they place on knowing their energy tariff will not increase over the medium-to long-term.”

The average dual fuel bill now stands at £1,265 a year, significantly more than the cheapest tariffs currently available over one, two, three and four-year fixed deals.

But some experts say that cheap energy deals now on offer do not reflect current falls in wholesale prices, which could possibly drive down prices even further in the coming months.

“At the end of the day it’s impossible to predict the future of energy prices, so householders and business energy users need to consider their priorities carefully,” Mr Morgan said.

“For many people, the piece of mind of knowing that their energy tariffs will not skyrocket over the next few years is well worth the premium they pay for  fixed-term deal, and the fact that they won’t benefit if prices fall.

“Other consumers will be happy for their tariffs to ‘float’ in line with what is happening in the market, because they stand a chance of making savings if and when prices fall.”

Mr Morgan said that although current market conditions presented consumers with a dilemma, the worst thing they could do was put their head in the sand when it came to energy supplies.

“It can seem tricky to make the right decision, but impartial and independent services like ours can help,” Mr Morgan said.

“We can guide householders and business owners through the benefits and disadvantages of fixed-term deals so that they can make the best decision for their budget and circumstances.

“The worst thing anyone can do is to do nothing.”

The Energy Advice Line is the UK’s leading impartial comparison, switching and advice service for businesses and householders.  It actively campaigns for reform of the UK’s energy market to boost competition, get consumers a better deal from suppliers and lower energy prices.

The Energy Advice Line’s price comparison and switching service is free and completely impartial. 

Consumers can obtain energy quotes with a few computer strokes based on a diverse panel of energy suppliers including the major players and smaller independent utility companies.

For further information visit Energy Advice Line

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Be aware of hidden charges

Beware hidden charges before switching suppliers

Consumers shopping for cheaper business electricity rates should ensure that they compare like-for-like tariffs following changes in the way some suppliers itemise their bills, according to the Energy Advice Line.

Some customers could be signing up to deals unaware that a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) charge was payable on top.

The FiT scheme was designed to encourage homeowners and businesses to invest in green technology such as solar panels and wind turbines. People who install the technology receive a subsidy and a guarantee that any surplus electricity will be bought back by the national grid.

Suppliers can not longer absorb the costs... 

The subsidy is paid for by adding an extra charge onto the bills of those who don't install the technology. Up until recently, most suppliers just incorporated this into their unit rate so it was invisible. However, this is changing. The number of people taking advantage of the FiT scheme grew tenfold in 2012 and, combined with the fact that the subsidy is set high to encourage people to join up, there's heavy financial pressure on the system.

It was only a matter of time before business electricity suppliers started itemising this as an extra charge, and some have started to do this. The crucial thing for consumers is to make sure that the price they are quoted for their electricity does in fact include this FiT charge, as we estimate that it adds a not-insignificant 2 - 3% onto a bill.
When comparing prices ask about the FiT Charge... 

When comparing energy prices, consumers need to be very careful that they are comparing like-for-like and ask suppliers whether the price they are quoting includes the FiT charge, or if it will be added on top.

Read more about 'Beware of Hidden Charges Before Switching Suppliers' here

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Cold energy storage plant for Manchester

Cold energy storage plant for Manchester

Manchester will be the home of a new cold energy storage plant as a new commisson shows.

The plant will store energy cryogenically from a mixture of renewable and off-peak generation with a process involving chilling the air into a liquid form. Once the air is warmed back up it will expand and power a turbine into generating electricity.

It is predicted that up to 5,000 homes could be powered for about three hours from the 5MW energy plant run by Highview Power Storage. The company believes that this technology has real potential and could be further improved for long-term use with green sources.

As developments continue to be made with renewable energy, further stress is placed on the traditional method of energy generation and suppliers must to what they can in order to remain competitive.

Consumers must remain vigilant when keeping an eye on their energy spend to ensure that they are receiving the best prices and that their supplier is keeping a competitive edge over all others.

The Energy Advice Line is a service for both business and domestic customers that is both free and impartial. By allowing customers to check prices online 24 hours a day and seven days a week, there is no need to worry about whether or not you have the time to check out the market place.

The free service carries out the whole process from beginning to end, and manages the switch for you. In uncertain times, you can rely on Energy Advice Line to provide a service you can trust, and to save you money.

For more information visit

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Independents suffer as wholesale prices rise

Independents suffer as wholesale prices rise

The volatile state of the current energy market has been highlighted within recent weeks, indicated by the collapse of GB Energy in November. As one of the new independent suppliers, GB Energy had 12 staff and around 160,000 customers on the database. But what caused their demise?

Wholesale prices have risen dramatically over the past few months and smaller energy suppliers are struggling to keep up with supply and demand.

Industry analysts and experts predict that this will be an ongoing trend over the coming months and years for the new suppliers as they can't handle the rising costs of supplying their customers. Despite having a poor year, it looks as if the Big Six will start to see an increase on their market share with more independents dropping from the race.

The UK government has encouraged the development of over 40 companies in the last five years due to their belief that the competition will help to drive down the overall cost of customer's bills. Weaker prices in 2014 allowed new suppliers to take advantage and offer more appealing deals to potential customers.

Prices were already on a steady rise in the UK following the trend of oil prices, however the decision to leave the EU resulted in higher costs for importing gas, coal and electricity.

Four of the Big Six energy suppliers are owned by companies in mainland Europe, so it is currently believed that their prices may not be too drastically affected. EDF is French, EON is German, Scottish Power is part of a Spanish company, and NPower run by a company in Germany.

Power supplies are tightened heading into winter as demand rises. How this will affect prices for consumers is yet to be seen.

It is more important than ever to make sure that the price you're paying is the most competitive on the market. GB Energy customers have been taken over by Co-Op Energy, however there is still the option to shop around - an automatic transfer may not always mean the same tariff or discounts. For more details on saving on your energy spend visit