Tag Archives: heating cover

40% Drop In Heating Cover Could Leave Consumers Out In The Cold

Released on: November 3, 2009, 7:32 am
Author: uSwitch.com
Industry: Energy

•Financial gamble: number of people taking out heating cover on their boilers has dropped 40% in the last year

•Safety gamble: 42% ignore industry safety advice to get boilers checked once a year, risking carbon monoxide poisioning

•No peace of mind: two thirds of households (65%) don’t have any form of emergency heating cover

•Paying the price: nearly one in three boilers breaks down within six years of being installed, cost of replacing four key boiler parts can reach £1200.

As winter bites and with people still feeling the bitter chill of recession, new research from uSwitch.com, the independent price and comparison switching service, reveals a 40% drop in the number of people taking out or renewing heating cover compared to this time last year. As a result more than two thirds (65%) of households do not have any type of heating or boiler cover in place, potentially taking a risk with their finances and their health.

Nearly one in three boilers breaks down within six years of being installed, and the cost of repair can spiral up to £1,200 to replace the four key boiler parts. In comparison, the average yearly cost of heating cover comes in at £122 or just over £10 a month.

more…

Further Price Cuts To Come As British Gas Reports Increase In Residential Profits?

Released on: July 31, 2009, 5:44 am
Author: uSwitch.com
Industry: Energy

•Centrica’s profits fall 5%, while British Gas residential reports an increase in half year operating profits of 80% to £299 million (2008: £166 million)

•Falling wholesale prices contribute to increased half year profits for British Gas residential

•Some of the benefits of falling wholesale prices already passed onto customers – British Gas has cut its prices twice this year shaving 10% or £126 in total off the average dual fuel bill

•Increase in profits should cushion customers from future price increases, and may even allow for further price cuts

• Average household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer has dropped from £1,328 to £1,202 this year – £290 or 32% higher than its average bill of £912 on the 1st January 2008

•British Gas has led the field in offering the most competitive energy plan, only recently losing its crown to EDF Energy.

Centrica’s results today reveal that while overall profits have fallen, British Gas residential has reported a significant uplift in profits as a result of falling wholesale prices. Some of these benefits have already been passed onto customers with two price cuts this year totalling £126 or 10%.

more…

Household Energy Bills to Hit Almost GBP5k in 10 Years Time


Released on: June 24, 2009, 8:44 am
Author: uSwitch.com
Industry: Energy

Consumers are being warned today that they could be facing annual energy bills of almost £5,000 a year by 2020. The shock forecast from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, is based on pricing trends over the last 5 years and takes into account the huge investment programme shortly to be undertaken by the energy industry and Government. The investment, expected to total £233.5 billion, will secure the country’s longer-term supply and enable the roll-out of smart metering into all homes, but will add £548 a year onto household energy bills for the next 15 years.

Looking at pricing trends alone, consumers could expect energy bills to reach £4,185 by 2020. This strips out the cost of investment, but factors in inflation and volatility in the wholesale markets, as seen by suppliers over the last 5 years. Since 2004, global demand for energy and volatility in wholesale prices have contributed to a 114% increase in household energy prices, including a 42% or £381 increase last year. The overall effect has been to see household energy bills more than doubling from £580 in 2004 to £1,243 today.

Volatility is expected to continue to be a dominant theme in the energy market going forward. Although the current world-wide recession is dampening demand for energy, the recession is due to end by 2011/12, when global demand for energy can be expected to start climbing again. Power hungry economies, such as China and India, will be returning to strength, resulting in an upward pressure on wholesale energy prices. At the same time, North Sea oil will start to run out adding greater pressure on the market. Wholesale energy prices account for around 50% of a household bill so continuing volatility will have an impact on the amount consumers will pay.

As well as upward pressure on household energy bills, there will be downward pressure too. The Government’s drive to make British households more energy efficient will start to pay dividends. But, instead of reducing bills it will serve to counterbalance other factors pushing energy usage up, such as the growth in single person households, Britain’s ageing population and growing reliance on electrical gadgets.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “This is a wake-up call for us all. The £5,000 a year energy bill may seem like an outside possibility, but we have to remember that energy bills doubled in the last five years alone and that the huge investment needed just to keep the lights on in Britain will alone add £548 a year onto our bills. The fact is we are entering a new era of high cost energy and households will have to adapt their behaviour accordingly.

“The Government has been banging the drum for energy efficiency for a while now, but consumers have been reluctant to spend money on these measures. As a result, energy efficiency has been massively underperforming even though it is one of the biggest defences we have against escalating energy costs. We also have a competitive energy market, and yet less than 5% of consumers are on the most competitive energy plans – most people are paying far more than they have to for the energy they use.

“This has to change. My advice to consumers is to invest in making your home more energy efficient, reduce the amount of energy you use and make sure you are paying the lowest possible price for it. Big projects such as a new energy efficient boiler or home insulation can be expensive, but the savings you make through cutting the price of your energy could be re-invested into energy efficiency measures so that you reap even greater rewards in the future.

“Don’t be put off. If cost is an issue, speak to your supplier to see if they can help – they have a pot of money available to help households with energy efficiency. Or contact the Energy Saving Trust for advice. The key thing is to start future-proofing yourself against higher energy bills now.”

Contact Details: See the full version of this press release.

About uSwitch:
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

For more information please contact:
Jo Ganly, uSwitch.com on 0207 802 2915 or joganly@uswitch.com