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Take the Which? Conversation February Quiz

Test your knowledge of February’s consumer news and conversations in our monthly quiz.

It’s been another busy month around which.co.uk – but how much of February 2022 do you remember?

Here’s your chance to put your knowledge to the test in our monthly quiz:

 

How did you get on? Let us know your score in the comments.

Comments

6/10

Kevin says:
1 March 2022

Perhaps your average score is higher?
According to Zoopla, what is the average cost of renting a home per month?

Choose all that apply…

I had been struggling to understand that question for the past two days. 😉

This quiz was easier than most because only two questions expected us to remember numbers.

I got nearly all of them almost right.

Kevin says:
1 March 2022

Does that give you a quantum of solace?

Every time! It’s what I like about statistics.

The names of energy companies are odd:

British Gas A company that also sells electricity.
Bulb Energy I can see a connection.
Scottish Power Pity it’s now a subsidiary of Iberdrola, a Spanish company.
Octopus Energy Well, there are electric eels.

Em says:
1 March 2022

Together Energy – That’s certainly not the aftershock it is having on Warrington Council.

We used to know where we are when we paid our electricity bills years ago: Eastern, Southern, North Western, South Wales, London, Midlands, Scottish, etc.

But didn’t you have a monopoly supplier in those days? Was that a good thing? Although recent events have reduced the number of competing energy suppliers from a ridiculous 70 down to around 22 (still too many in my book) many of us have had much better deals than I suspect would otherwise have been possible.

Yes, Malcolm — The lack of competition in both generation and supply led to wasteful practices and excessive costs.

Operationally, the twelve regional electricity boards were reasonably efficient because of the concentration of customers, but they were overstaffed, burdened by a cumbersome governance structure, and had many out-of-date systems and management practices. But on the plus side, many of them ran showrooms which sold safe electrical appliances and provided cookery and home heating demonstrations. The showrooms also had a cashier’s counter for the payment of bills. Most of the electricity boards employed fully-qualified electricians to undertake home wiring installations to ensure safety and competence.

Consumer prices [in real terms] for electricity actually declined and then stabilised after privatisation of the electricity supply industry. It has been suggested that, if we were still under the previous nationalised system, bills would have been considerably higher today, although the position is distorted by the addition of VAT and the additional levies that have been imposed by governments.

I think twelve electricity supply companies, without territorial boundaries, would produce the right economies of scale, procurement expertise, billing efficiency, and adequate competition so that all consumers would have a reasonable choice of tariff and service provision. As well as reducing regulatory costs, it would also knock the buttons off some of the parasitic price comparison websites that overall must add to industry costs.

The same could probably be said in respect of the pre-privatisation gas supply industry.