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Bills, broadband and black boxes

53 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 17 October 2012

Energy Secretary Ed Davey discusses rising fuel bills, after four of the six big energy firms have put their prices up by between six and nine percent. Customers of British Gas, the largest company, will see the average bill rise by £80.

The Children's Society, Citizen's Advice and Disability Rights UK claim up to half a million disabled people and their families stand to lost out under the government's proposed Universal Credit system.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics say that, on average, households are worse off by £137 per week compared to three years ago. With budgets squeezed and supermarkets fighting for our custom, we compare the cost and effort of using independent shops.

Joanna Martin's dog 'Cotton' was stolen from her home four years ago. When she saw him being advertised for sale online, she posed as a buyer to get him back.

Three quarters of adults in the UK say they have broadband at home. With competition increasing between providers, some customers have been able to halve their costs, just by calling and asking.

There are 11 'shadow' toll roads in England, which are built and maintained by the private sector, and the Department for Transport pays for them based on the number of users. Bob Walker looks at the past and future of road pricing.

Some insurance companies offer to fit a 'black box' to monitor driving habits. For younger drivers, they might result in a discount for driving safely, but some users question if it's possible to get a perfect score.

Under the government's Green Deal you could borrow money to pay for heating and energy-conserving home improvements, then repay over 25 years. We ask Energy Secretary Ed Davey how, and when, it will work.

Presenter: Winifred Robinson
Producer: Joel Moors.


8 items
  • Energy Prices

    Energy Secretary Ed Davey discusses rising fuel bills.

  • Disability Benefits

    A report claims up to half a million people could be worse off under Universal Credit.

  • Shops vs. supermarkets

    The cost, time and effort of doing a family’s weekly shop without going to a supermarket.

  • Dog reunited

    How online shopping led to the return of a stolen dog.

  • Broadband prices

    Thousands of people could be paying less for their broadband – just by asking.

  • Shadow toll roads

    The toll roads we all pay for.

  • Car insurance black boxes

    Will having a ‘black box’ in your car really make your insurance cheaper?

  • Green Deal

    The Green Deal is promised to be the biggest home improvement programme in decades.



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