The Week in Energy

Welcome to the first Week in Energy review, My Utility Genius’s weekly blog dedicated to reviewing the past weeks hottest consumer energy topics in the UK. This week, like any other, has been very busy for us at My Utility Genius HQ, with projects, plans & schedules whilst at the same time fighting with fluctuations in the Oil markets and working out just what that means for you our loyal customers. We also like to keep our eyes peeled for interesting headlines that can affect you and your pocket. We hope you find this week’s summary useful.

The Price War continues!

Since the turn of the New Year, it has been very interesting to see an influx of market leading energy tariffs. . Wee always like to see who  the cheapest supplier is in terms of tariff price and it used to be quite predictable. For the past couple of weeks however this most certainly has not been the case and our product team have been very busy with new tariff prices coming to us in a constant stream from a wide range of energy supplier, who are setting new heights of cheap energy tariffs UK energy suppliers, these low prices haven’t been seen for at least 8 to 10 years The next couple of months look as if they will be no different with SSE announcing this week that it will follow in E.On’s footsteps  to cut the price of its Variable Gas tariff by 5.3% after Easter. Whereas this may be good news for the 90% of SSE customers that are currently on an their Standard Variable tariff, the news hasn’t come early enough for some with SSE who alsoannounced that some 300,000 customers left SSE in the 9 months leading up to December, proving that expensive Rugby World Cup sponsorship’s, Orangutan’s and ultimately expensive tariffs doesn’t cut it in today’s cut throat market of. As it stands that is 32 energy suppliers all wanting you.  If you are an SSE customer the chances are you are on a variable tariff, meaning you could be saving an average of £300 this year. If that description sounds like it could be you, you can compare your tariff here.

Technology is great! Right? Welcome to the hypothetical peak time tariff.

An interesting article in Wired Magazine this week suggesting that the introduction of Smart Meters has further relveated some well-known truths the end of the National Grid However after closer inspection we found something much more revealing for what the technology could potentially do for our energy bills. Despite costing the UK taxpayer a reported £11 billion to provide us with a smarter energy network which is to deliver more accurate billing as well as user empowerment, we cannot deny that these functions are only good things when it comes to aiding and shaping our emerging energy industry. The downfalls are however are implausible in the fact that when switching your supplier they will become defunct until the completed system role out in 2020. This seriously limits a consumer’s power to switch and save money. That’s 1 nil to the energy suppliers in our book. The second flaw in this scheme is all to do with data. Now these smart meters are helpful as they come with in in house energy monitor, which allow users to get real time information about their energy usage. BUT; that same data could be shared with your energy suppliers and they will in turn be able to see when in the day you & your fellow energy consumers use the most of your electricity,This powerful tool for suppliersenables them to optimise a peak time tariff to your advantage or disadvantage. Therefore hypothetically boiling a cup of tea whilst watching Coronation Street could one day become a task of schedule, like booking a train ticket for the best price, because we all know how a similar pricing system in the travel industry works.

Energy firm’s costs hit a 5 year low.

If a government body says we should do it we do it right? OFGEM’s chief executive Dermot Nolan came out and unsurprisingly told us this week that the wholesale costs for energy suppliers dropped by approximately 1/3rd over the past 12 to 18 months, ultimately meaning that you should have seen a drop in prices of your energy bills in the past year.  However 70% of us are still stuck on Standard Variable tariffs and are not feeling the effects of cheaper wholesale prices in the energy industry.  Its proving quite a handy time to launch the quarterly DECC Switching Campaign ,Power to Switch. We are sure you will come across the government push for consumers to take action at some point in February.

Could we really be facing regular blackouts in 10 years’ time?

Another pressing issue within the UK Energy industry was highlighted this week. It was reported by the Guardian that the phasing out of Coal and Nuclear power plants and having no policy in place to replace the output the future plant closures could mean that in 10 years’ time the demand for electricity could outstrip supply by at least 40%. If we do end up facing the situation we can only see two outcomes…unaffordable electricity and of course black outs on regular proportions.

And last but not least…

From Unaffordable Electricity to the £1 a day super green house

That’s right. We thought we would finish off this week with a nice story about the house in Lincolnshire whose owners total Utility Bills for a year equals less than £400. How did they manage to do that? Green technology such as solar PVC’s installed before government funding had been lowered that’s how and it’s a shame that subsidies have been cut as not only are these houses demanding an extra £36,000 when they are sold they seem to be having a real effect in helping reduce our bills and our nations carbon footprint. You can read about this particular houses story here.
Well that’s this this week done and dusted in a nut shell. Make sure you read again next week where we will be commenting some of the most important and outrageous energy news stories that hit the headlines next week.