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How are your fuel prices?

Eddie Mair | 13:35 UK time, Friday, 18 September 2009

Ofgem has this report out today. We'll talk about it tonight. BBC News coverage here.


  • 1. At 1:55pm on 18 Sep 2009, sharand wrote:

    I wonder what happened to the Free Market when it comes to Fuel! It also violates a rule on nature - I.e. what goes up must come down. Obviously the concepts of gravity do not apply to the fuel markets!

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  • 2. At 2:02pm on 18 Sep 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Very 'cabin in the wilderness' over here. We have only had electricity for 40 years and do not have gas. Our coal consumption usually rises over the winter months and my son has been sawing timber for firewood in a bid to get the woodshed stacked before winter sets in.

    Our Rayburn is used to cook on, keep the kitchen cosy and to heat the water (rain water is collected from the roof) cylinder. I wonder if there will be an increased trend towards maximising energy sources like this in the coming months.

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  • 3. At 2:47pm on 18 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    One great big selling point when services such as these were privatised was, we were going to see competition between different companies and therefore a good deal for consumers. Well I beleive many people (me included) see the benefits of changing supplier to be too negligible and the change too cumbersome an exercise to really inspire us to change. I have also noticed,(and not just in the power market but in the telecommincations and entertainment franchises) many of them offer time limited deals. You have to sign up for a set time to receive any offer benefits but no guarantee of continual competitive prices after said time period.

    Having said this, I think the regulator has done a good job in this industry when you consider some of the sharp underhanded practices and overcharging of those least able to pay by these sharks. I realise there is still more to do though. Perhaps regulators in some of those other monopolies like telecoms could take a leaf out of the energy regulators book too and do something for those least able to pay.

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  • 4. At 2:55pm on 18 Sep 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Look on the bright side, folks. If this guy had exercised his choice of an appeal with a bit less, er, 'pressure' on him our oil prices might be even higher...


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  • 5. At 3:00pm on 18 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    The energy companies should reverse the structure of their tariffs. Currently the first 700 units are charged at a high rate, say 25p, and then it drops down to say 8 pence per unit thereafter. Once you've passed the initial threshold, energy is relatively cheap and can be used on ridiculous products such as patio heaters and outdoor baths.

    It would be socially, environmentally and ecologically better if the tariff offered the first 1000 units at 8 pence, and charged further consumption at the higher price of 25 pence to discourage wasteful use.

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  • 6. At 3:12pm on 18 Sep 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Richard - good idea.

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  • 7. At 3:23pm on 18 Sep 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    'My Story' or 'Mystery' ?


    You be the judge..

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  • 8. At 4:33pm on 18 Sep 2009, Nickshaw781 wrote:

    Fuel prices vary so much, Asda at 102.9 and the local Esso at 106.9, why such a big difference and why are the prices so volatile, they go up and down by 1p or 2p at a time over a week or so and not all petrol stations pricing follows....its all very confusing and as far as I am concerned if Asda can do 102.9 why not all the big supermarkets?

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  • 9. At 4:46pm on 18 Sep 2009, LorneGifford wrote:

    UK Population = 61 million
    2009 oil consumption = 1.8 million barrels a day
    2009 gas consumption = 260 million cubic metres per day
    Gas as equivalent barrels of oil = 1.7 millions barrels a day

    A couple of quick sums and you find that a barrel of petroleum (oil & gas) lasts the average family of 2 adults and 2 school children for 6 days. A quick internet search and you'll find petroleum also constitutes almost 75% of our primary energy sources.

    I'd stop complaining about how much it all costs and start figuring out what were going to do next because that politicians number of 40 years supply at current consumtion rates is meaningless. Without going into details something called water-cut ensures current production rates are unsustainable.

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  • 10. At 5:12pm on 18 Sep 2009, jaystar wrote:

    Ofgem could improve the situation for the consumer by constraining the energy companies so that they are only allowed to change their prices at fixed intervals, say 6 months, with all price changes being announced simultaneously and becoming effective from the same dates.

    This would make it very much easier for consumers, consumer watchdogs, and OFGEM to make direct comparisons between suppliers. It would prevent 'follow my leader' supplier pricing policies.
    The consumer could then make his decision to switch, or not, based on a fair comparison of proposed prices. In addition the consumer would know that his new price would be fixed for the given period, and the effect of future price changes would be equally easy to understand.

    The resulting publicity would act as an important pressure on energy suppliers to price competitively, or be exposed and lose business as a result. This clarity in pricing would also act as a constraint on misleading sales activity. In short it would improve real competition among the energy suppliers.

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  • 11. At 2:34pm on 21 Sep 2009, mittfh wrote:

    On my current tariff (Atlantic), I pay £25/month on electricity and £64/month on gas - even though my usage is only 2hrs/day (usually water only - the minimum the controller will allow without manual overrides). Water (Severn Trent) is £67/month, but as with council tax, that's only paid for about 10 months (why can't they even it out over the full 12 like most companies?) - and of course, as it's unmetered, the rateable formula's even more complex and archaic than the gas one!

    One invention that tickles me is the wireless electricity meter thingy - nice idea, but it would be more beneficial if you could do one for gas.

    Of the two energy utilities, I'd put gas down as the most in need of a remote usage meter - since it only appears to use one unit a day, but once it's been processed using a complicated formula that converts the reading from what the meter displays (cubic feet) into KWh via BTU and a thermal coefficient, it works out at a lot more.

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  • 12. At 03:06am on 22 Sep 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:


    The prices in the N.Y.S. have been steady for the best part of a few months...

    =Dennis Junior=

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