The majority of us struggle with our household bills. While offering discounts for high energy users might help some, does it really deliver the government’s objective to ensure we cut back on our energy usage?
In October’s Which? magazine, we reported that energy suppliers cut the costs of gas and electricity units for higher users – sometimes as much as 30%. Surely a good deal?
However, what happens if you flip this deal? What if you describe it another way – people who use low amounts of gas and electricity could be paying 30% more than their energy guzzling neighbours?
Schemes to cut energy usage
Now the government says that it has cost suppliers £5.5bn to help us, the public, to cut down on energy in our homes by improving insulation. This is the industry which will spend over £11.5bn to provide us all with smart meters with the aim of helping us cut down on energy.
In January, we’ll be offered Green Deal finance to help us implement green initiatives in our home with the aim of – you’ve guessed it – cutting down on energy.
In fact the government has said that the energy market will need further financial investment to meet environmental targets which can only be reached if we cut down on the energy we use in our homes.
Use less, pay more
So energy deals that essentially run on the premise ‘use less, pay more’, really don’t appear to be such a good deal after all. Those who have made the effort to cut down on energy are not only being penalised but, like millions of consumers, are footing the bill for the billions of pounds being spent to try to get us all to cut down on the amount of gas and electricity we use.
Which? wants the regulator, Ofgem, to make all energy tariffs simple so that consumers can compare prices at a glance. One supplier, Ebico, is already doing this by just offering one tariff for gas and one for electricity with one price per unit (kilo watt hour, kWh). Imagine if all the energy suppliers did this and you could compare energy deal prices in seconds. Like a certain meerkat says, wouldn’t that be ‘simples’?
Are you a low-energy user? Do you feel your supplier is penalising you for trying to save energy?