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How many more price increases do we have to endure? Commodities that are vital to survival should not be allowed to be sold on a commercial basis. Companies that control petrol, gas, electricity or water can manage the supply and demand. So, it’s not surprising to see another energy company raise their prices.

This time it was Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) which is increasing prices from 15 November. There are 7 million customers currently with SSE however it’s anticipated the other 5 energy firms are preparing to increase their prices too.

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SSE will be increasing their prices by 8.2% which is suggested as an average rise of £100 per year.  The concern is that these energy suppliers are making billions of pounds in profit every year, however their prices continue to increase.

The reason for the increase is due to demand for the world’s resources and the limited supply they claim is available. As a result the prices to obtain the fuel is growing. However, this doesn’t stack up. Recent findings suggest there is more gas available than previously thought. This should surely mean the supply is greater, demand remains the same so price should drop?

Is it Worth Switching?

The cost of gas and electricity continues to climb and petrol for vehicles is the same. I’m happy to pay the going rate, however I think we’re all being shafted.

Yet, when the other energy firms raise their prices they’ll be much of a much. In an independent investigation by the OFGEM they found there was no evidence of price or an unfair correlation to prices being passed onto the consumer. As a result, there is no way to switch account to a cheaper provider – they are all the same.

At present it’s not worth switching unless you’re getting a good deal. This is highly unlikely.

Instead of trying to get a better deal we need the Government to step in and closely regulate the profits these companies make. The energy providers say they need a percentage of their income to invest in new research. But even after all of this money has been spent, the companies still have inordinate amounts of profit.

The Knock On Impact

When the cost of living increases, it has an adverse affect on the available money in people’s pocket. A 8% increase in fuel costs may not seem like a lot, but for many people that’s food money. People who are trying to repay debt, will now have £10 less each month which they can pay back.

This is a financial problem at a time when the economy is trying to recover. The money needs to get back into circulation, with people spending their money at local shops, on the high street and in cafes or bars. Filling the pockets of greedy energy firms will solely benefit their company.

Political: Labour’s Bid

One political party that has noticed this trend is the Labour Government. The party may be offering “lip-service” by giving us what we want to hear, however Labour leader Ed Miliband is stating he will bring down the cost of energy. If the companies refuse then he will use his power to legislate the energy market.

This may be the only realistic option available to control the energy firms. I hate the thought of Government controlling the free-market. However when the energy firms don’t take the hint, it’s their own fault. In truth, Thatcher should never have sold off the utility market in the first place.

What’s your experience of energy firms? Do you think the price rise is unfair? If you could own any business, would it be an energy firm?

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John The Bankruptcy Guy

As an ex-bankrupt, John has experienced the highs and lows of credit. It's with this knowledge that he writes Debt Advice Resource - to help others avoid, or navigate out of, the pitfalls of debt.

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