Tory’s Cheap Energy Plan Suffers Blow After Fracking Setback
George Osborne’s cheap energy plan has met a severe stumbling block after an influential cross-party group of energy experts has stated that any shale gas boom is unlikely to result in cheap gas for UK businesses or domestic users. The plan to adopt a “fracking revolution”, as the Chancellor put it, will now have to be reassessed.
Former energy minister Charles Hendry had been tasked with invigilating a nine month inquiry into fracking and has recently concluded that estimating the volume of shale gas in UK rocks is extremely premature. Hendry continued to point out that it is also too early to ascertain how much of this gas will be commercially viable to extract.
Those thinking that the situation couldn’t get any more complicated would also be incorrect. It has also materialised that any developers looking to extract this gas in built up urban or densely populated areas would encounter serious problems. Planning permission is unlikely to be given in such cases, making the fracking procedure incredibly challenging due to the hydraulics that are necessary.
So, with these factors in mind it is easy to see why George Osborne’s initial plan for cheap energy has been all but scuppered. Indeed, even if vast amounts of shale gas can be produced using the aforementioned methods, there is no guarantee that this would improve the landscape for business or domestic customers. It would turn out to be good for the economy however, hence the strong interest in the concept by the coalition government.
Like many aspects of the business gas sector, this story is set to have several more twist and turns. Keep right up to date with all this going on with this issue and everything else from the business electricity, telecoms and insurance industry right here at All About Savings.
UK Companies of All Sizes Can Save a Fortune on Their Business Gas Bills
Fathoming gas prices can be a daunting process for domestic customers, let alone for your business. Fluctuating prices, new suppliers and new government legislations can make finding the very best rates for you company a painful and often infuriating task. With this in mind, it is extremely fortunate for your business that All About Savings are on hand.
Business gas comparison are few and far between and of them, very few are free. This is the case with All About Savings, we are committed to finding you the very best business gas prices without you having to shell out a dime.
What’s more, All About Savings can help businesses of all size when it comes to business gas. It doesn’t matter of you run a small sole trader or an international powerhouse; we can use all of our resources to reduce your business gas bills.
The fundamental aspect of our service lies in the fact that we understand what it takes to run a business. As such, we know that it is unlikely that you will have time to look around for the very best business gas suppliers in the country and go through all the red tape involved with switching. The All About Savings ethos means that you can relax whilst we take care of all legwork. All this and we are absolutely free of charge.
So, if you want to put the power back in the hands of your business when it comes to your gas bills then do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can contact All About Savings through the no obligation quote form or the telephone number at the top of this page.
Energy Supplier SSE fined £10.5 million by Energy Watchdog Ofgem for mis-selling
The UK Energy Watchdog Ofgem has today announced a record breaking £10.5 million pound fine for energy supplier SSE (Scottish & Southern Energy PLC) for miss-selling both Gas & Electricity. This is the biggest fine every issued by Ofgem towards an energy company for mis-selling energy products.
The official statement that has been issued by Ofgem said that SSE was guilty of extensive miss-selling on telephone, door to door and store sales due to prolonged management failures, in response to this Scottish & Southern Energy PLC has apologised to its customers and has said that they are “deeply regretful”.
All About Savings has learned that one of Scottish & Southern’s directors, Alan Young, has said that the energy firm was “very sorry” and the company has sent out close to a million letters to existing customers making them aware of the situation and has to date paid out close to £400,000 in compensation.
Unfortunately the fine that SSE has received for mis-selling may not be the last fine to hit an energy company this year as E.on, Scottish Power and Npower are all under investigation by Ofgem. As always the team at All About Savings will keep you posted on the latest updates so please make sure you keep checking our Utility News blog.
All About Savings Guide to the Energy Bill
If you are a business in the United Kingdom that uses a substantial amount of gas or electricity, you will no doubt be aware that the way we use many of these utilities is changing. As the United Kingdom’s favourite destination for price comparison, news and advice, All About Savings has put this neat little article together for you to help you make some sense of what can be a baffling issue. We know that you are busy enough trying to guide your business out of a recession, so read on and why not take advantage of our price comparison service while you’re here?
The demand for electricity in this country is expected to double by 2050 as we move towards electric heating and transport, but despite this many power plants across the UK seem to be closing.
The much coveted EMR has been put in place in order to attract £110 billion of investment. This is what is needed to sufficiently upgrade and expand the nation’s energy infrastructure. It is hoped that this will secure energy for years to come and also make sure that we are adhering to emission obligations and promote the widespread use of renewables.
The Energy Bill:
- Contracts for Difference, to provide ‘stable and predictable’ incentives for companies to invest in low-carbon generation.
- Investment Instruments – to generate investment before Contracts for Different come into place.
- Capacity Market – to safeguard electricity for the future.
- Conflicts of Interest and Contingency Arrangements
- Renewables Transitional – transition arrangements for investments under the renewables obligation scheme.
- Emissions Performance Standard – to limit emissions from new fossil fuel power stations.
New Strategy & Policy Statement (SPS)
The purpose of the SPS is to improve things at a regulatory level and ensure that the government and Ofgem are working to the same strategy. The legislature also lays down the roles and responsibilities of the government, Ofgem and any other relevant organisations.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)
As the name suggests, this legislature looks to regulate the nuclear power industry. This will regulate the safety and security of all future power plants such as the first new complex in nearly two decades – to be built in Somerset. The ONR really emphasises the government’s commitment to nuclear energy as a formidable source in the United Kingdom.
Is There Anything Missing from the Energy Bill?
Interestingly, energy efficiency seems to be missing from the energy bill. There is nothing in the draft to do with cutting our current levels of energy usage. There is also less of a focus on renewable energy, with gas and nuclear being the focal point of the Bill.
10% of Business Gas Market Now Owned by Gazprom Energy
Through its recent acquisition, Gazprom Energy now owns a substantial 10% of the UK British Business Gas Market. This makes it the fourth biggest supplier of business gas…
Despite not being among the much coveted big six supplier, Gazprom Energy can proudly boast the likes of Chelsea FC and David Lloyd Leisure centres as among the client list. This recent achievement has been labelled as a “significant milestone” by the company as its new overall market ranking reflects their growth within mid-tier and SME gas markets
Gazprom claims that it has achieved this new position by focusing on the development of its employees and by building strong relationship with customers.
“Despite increased competition from independent suppliers and rising third party charges, we’ve significantly increased our market share through an absolute focus on our brand values – transparency, relevancy and simply making it easy for our customers to do business.
“As the market continues to tighten, energy providers need to work harder to differentiate themselves and this is why we have invested significantly in our people development and customer service offering.” said Jon Feingold, Global Managing Director at Gazprom Energy.
Further to this recent success, Gazprom Energy is also proud to declare that they have seen their market share increase every year since their launch in 2006. They now supply business gas and business electricity to more than 11,000 different locations.
National Grid Stand-Off with Ofgem Averted
Despite speculation that the National Grid would enter a stand-off with Ofgem regarding the rejection of proposed regulatory price controls for gas and power, the body have backed off and seemingly averted a potential storm of controversy.
All About Savings has learnt today that the power and gas transmission giant had condemned Ofgem’s initial proposals. Ofgems policy “does not adequately reflect the risk associated with the investment required”, then transmission giants had conveyed.
“We always said that our focus was on the best possible package. The board has concluded that it gives the business the opportunity to deliver appropriate returns while investing in essential UK infrastructure” Paul Whittaker, National Grid’s director of UK regulation stated just a few days ago.
This story dates back to December 2012, when the National Grid blasted Ofgem, the industry regulators, over their proposals. They responded when Alistair Buchanan criticised the company saying that “If they don’t like what we give them, they should go to the Competition Commission.”
It seems now however that the whole issue has proven to be a storm in a teacup.
“The avoidance of a Competition Commission referral should be taken positively as it removes uncertainty for investors,” said Liberum Capital analyst Guillaume Redgwell.
“National Grid now has regulatory clarity until 2021.” he continued.
Ofgem’s final decision on total capital expenditure for National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) was 8 per cent below the company’s initial business plan proposal. This, coupled with the fact that operating expenditure allowance was 15 per cent down, had led to much furore.
Gas distribution price controls released at the same time pegged the total expenditure at National Grid Gas’s four networks a staggering 20 per cent below their business plans.
All About Savings will be keeping it finger on the pulse of everything going with regard to this story and business electricity as a whole.
British Gas Report Profit Surge Despite Price Hikes, Much to Fury of Customers Across the United Kingdom
Just three months after increasing its prices for customers across the United Kingdom, British Gas has surely ensured that it will incur the wrath of many disgruntled families by publishing impressive profit figures. Many customers will have presumed that these price increases were to tackle rising prices but it seems they were actually to line the pockets of British Gas.
These profits for 2012 soared by 11 per cent on 2012 to £606million….
In addition to this, it is thought that the company will rub salt into the wounds of these customers by increasing prices yet again this coming winter. Many in the industry are predicting far bleaker times for British Gas customers, particularly in the business gas arena. Any businesses looking to move suppliers are urged to take advantage of our superb services here at All About Savings.
In an incredible development, the bosses of British Gas’s owner Centrica will collect a shares bonanza predicted to be in excess of £10 million. So, as the average British family and business struggles to keep up with these increasing gas and electricity prices, fat cats at British Gas towers will continue to line their pockets. This is something All About Savings is looking to tackle with our unrivalled price comparison service.
Centrica reported an even higher profits rise than British Gas itself, with a 15 per cent gain to roughly £2.8billion. Their company chiefs will be given millions of shares under a long-term bonus scheme set up three years ago – this is all linked to the company’s overall performance.
Many businesses and individual customers are enraged at the fact that British Gas took advantage and manipulated customers by increasing prices by 6 per cent during this winter’s big chill. With people having no choice but to keep their homes warm, this conduct came under much scrutiny. So, the news that this money has just been used to boost the profits of British Gas is unlikely to sit well with anyone – particularly those looking for competitive business gas prices.
The UK’s biggest energy supplier put up tariffs by six per cent in the teeth of the winter chill, pushing up bills by £80 to an average £1,350 a year.
In response to this issue, Centrica said that the sharp profit increase at British Gas came after 2012’s freezing weather saw gas use leap 12 per cent. They continued to state that the number of customers dropped 1 per cent in the year to 15.7million. One wonders how the company us going to attract more customers when they are seemingly just intent on lining their own pockets.
Head of energy regulator Ofgem,Alastair Buchanan, has warned of an energy crisis in Britain as we become more reliant on imported gas.
The National Grid could struggle to meet demand between 2015 and 2020 after the planned closure of coal and oil-fired power stations next month. This is being done in order to meet environmental targets.
Price rises will also go to subsidies for wind farms, nuclear power stations and free insulation for the vulnerable.
British Gas said that of the average customer bill of £1,188 a year, the wholesale energy cost made accounted for £568, £283 went to delivery to the home, environmental and social policies added £112 and tax made up £72. Operating costs totalled £104, leaving it with £49 in profit per household.
They accepted that these figures would enrage customers, basically admitting that they had purely looked out for their own interests. When asked if more increases were to be expected, they said that they did not have a crystal ball.
All About Savings are here to ensure that you can take control of your business gas and electricity needs, use our free comparison service to ensure that you do not fall foul of these price hikes. Savings of around £300 a year can be achieved by those who have never switched their business utilities before.
Five All About Savings Business Gas Tips
1. Take regular meter readings rather than relying on an estimate. This can help to ensure accuracy.
2. Move to online billing. This saves up to 10%.
3. Monthly direct debit payments could save you up to 10%
4. Dual fuel is usually but not always the cheapest option. Compare both this and separate gas and electricity using the All About Savings comparison facility.
5. Knowing how much you pay now or how much energy you use delivers the best comparison. Get your most recent bill and use the figures to do the required homework – All About Savings can help your business to do this.
All About Savings Business Gas Guides: Finding the Very Best Deal for Your Company
As any All About Savings stalwarts will know only too well, when it comes to energy we are the UK’s authority site! Why not take a look at our latest business gas guide to find out what you should be considering when it comes to your new supplier….
You would have had to have had your head well and truly in the sand not to know that business gas prices are on the increase at the moment and as a result the market is becoming increasingly competitive. Various gas firms exist and it is prudent to compare them all before signing any lengthy contracts.
The best way to start shopping around is by making the most of comparison companies like us here at All About Savings as we take all the laborious scouring on for you.
So what should you be looking for when it comes to business gas?
As a business, you need a website like All About Savings to use our expertise and skills at finding you the very best energy solutions.
There are many dimensions to our service as we can help your business with all your business energy needs. This is inclusive of all the very best gas, electricity and telecom services. Keep in mind that separating bills can be far more cost effective than opting for dual energy packages – again, our team of experienced energy specialists can take care of this for you.
Ideally the company you use to compare energy deals should not charge you any fee for their service. This is very much the case here at All About Savings, we won’t charge you a penny and all of our advice is impartial and obligation free. We know that the whole point of this process is to save your company money, so what is the point in charging you a fee?
Using our platform also couldn’t be easier as you can get in touch via email, our online form and also our telephone number which can be found at the top of this site.
We pride ourselves on being a comparison company that will assist you with switching from one provider to the other to facilitate a smooth transition. No paperwork, no fuss…
Regardless of the sector or size of your business, the potential is there to save money on your energy costs so get in touch with All About Savings and take the first steps to lower energy bills.
Energy Regulators Warn that Suppliers are in an Erratic State and Could be Set for Downturn
Foreign gas suppliers are waning fast, meaning that prices could be set to rise again says Ofgem’s Alistair Buchanan…
The chief of energy regulator Ofgem has described energy supplies as being on a “rollercoaster” at present and heading downhill fast and not for the first time in recent months.
The blunt warning was issued to businesses and consumers alike to expect prices to rise as more power plant close. This will inevitably lead to foreign gas supplies shrinking dramatically, having the obvious negative repercussions on the British energy market.
Avoiding power shortages is going to come at a cost for the nation. Buchanan went on to say that is one was to imagine a rollercoaster at Alton Towers, then the British energy market is currently at the top ready to head downhill hill at an emphatic rate. It is predicted that within three years, the reserve margin of energy will fall from around 14% to 5%.
Other factors affecting this alarming descent in fortunes include the expected cancellation of gas supplies from the Russian Shtokman field and the increasing demand from China and other Asian heavyweights.
Shale gas is also an issue that have helped to compound this worrying situation. Although there is plenty of gas around the word – the problem lies in whether or not British supplier can afford to bring the necessary amounts here.
When talking to major media outlets, Buchanan also described how there is no new nuclear, clean coal or carbon capture expected before 2020. Therefore, the UK will be forced to rely on gas and this will account for more than half of our power station requirements. This is all happening at the same time as the world is running low on liquefied natural gas – resulting in a double blow.
The main concern for Ofgem is not allowing companies to take advantage of customers due to this crisis. They will be monitoring any increases in price carefully following a major dispute with such firms just two years ago.
Buchanan commented; “I am very encouraged by what the industry is doing – they are paying their fines for behaving badly, they’ve stopped mis-selling, they are carrying forward a lot of retail market reforms. So, for the consumer the issue is ‘Are the companies taking advantage of a high-price environment?’ And we will ensure they don’t do that on behalf of consumers.”
The looming energy gap is being tackled by the government as they look to resolve the oncoming challenges that are forthcoming. Reforms will be made to the electricity market via the energy bill and the new gas generation strategy.
“We have legislated to introduce a capacity market that will help guard against blackouts and ensure there is sufficient supply when margins get tight. We are opening up the electricity market to incentivise a record £110bn of private sector investment in new clean power generation – in renewables, new gas, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.
“We can’t put all our eggs in one basket, we need a diverse energy mix. This is the best solution to guard against high price of wholesale gas which drives up consumer bills.” Buchanan continued.
All About Savings Feature: Gas and Electricity Complaints Went Through Roof in 2012
Recent research has shown that the biggest energy firms received in excess of 1.4 million complaints from their customers during the final quarter of last year…
The statistics underline the fact there are more than 100,000 complaints a week being sent to the big six energy firms every week, this totals over 5 million disgruntled customers in total.
The findings have come about following Ofgem’s demand for such companies to provide far more transparent data with regards to performance. This has in turn led companies such as All About Savings to demand that positive action is taken.
The most complained about energy firm was EDF, who reported 440,317 unhappy paying customers over the three month period in question. These equates to 8,072 people complaining out of every 100,000.
British Gas did not fare too well either, revealing that they received 355,998 complaints during the same last quarter of the year. This is 2,285 per 100,000 customers. The next worst performers were E.ON and nPower – in that order.
The happiest energy customers in the land belong to Scottish Power who recorded just 71,042 complaints – this translates to 1,359 unhappy customers per 100,000 which is significantly better than the rest of the big six.
In previous years, the big energy suppliers were only required to publish how many complaints were left unresolved at the end of a business day but the recent revamp has seen far more useful data materialise. A common format for all companies to adhere to has also been sent out by Ofgem.
Although this information is very useful, the likes of Ofgem and All About Savings are quick to point out that there are some flaws in the data. For example, some of the energy suppliers have previously submitted data for one or more of the previous quarters. So although some figures may look very negative, they could represent progress. Factors such as the wintry weather and metering issues could also have had an effect as well as the geographical location of some customers.
Jo Brookes from All About Savings stated; “Some companies are publishing figures which make them look quite bad but it is worth bearing in mind that some of them may well have taken on extra staff to remedy this. These changes may well take time to have an effect so it may be prudent to take some time to assess this before making any rash decisions regarding your energy bills. The team here at All About Savings are here to assist any business in the United Kingdom with this very important decision.”
Some companies will now be responding to this survey in order to improve their service to customers. In time there will be some indication of what changes are made and exactly what effect they have.
The regulator Ofgem has pointed out that all data should be no more than two clicks away from any supplier website’s homepage so that business or individual customers can make the most informed decision.