Discounts scrapped as energy firms find new ways to increase profits

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Discounts scrapped as energy firms find new ways to increase profits

Energy firms have now scrapped discounts for those customers who pay their bills on time. Companies such as British Gas, E.On, EDF and Scottish Power all currently give customers money off if they pay their bills on time by cash or by cheque each quarter.

 

However these firms now claim that new regulations brought in by the regulator Ofgem mean that from next year they will no longer be able to offer these discounts, leaving customers up to £40 a year worse off. SSE customers currently get £5 off per fuel quarter if they pay their bill within 10 days, but now households have been told that they will lose this discount as of November 15th when their bill will soar by 8.2%. Scottish Power dual-fuel customers currently receive a £31.50 discount each year if they pay their bill within 14 days, when this offer ends on December 6th customer will see their bill rise 8.6%. In comparison British Gas dual-fuel customers get a 5% discount – up to £7.50 if they pay their bill within 7% when this is removed they will see their bill increase by 9.2%. E.On offers a 3% discount whilst EDF offers its dual-fuel customers get £5.68 off their next quarterly bill if they pay within 10 days.

 

When explaining these changes to their customers firms blame the regulator Ofgem for them having to remove the perk, from the beginning of the year to the end firms are only able to offer two discounts – these being, managing your account online and also choosing a dual-fuel tariff. Aswell as this firms will only be able to offer 4 tariffs for each fuel and payment method.

 

Experts are concerned that firms are using these new rules as an excuse to boost their profits, a spokesperson for uSwitch has said “there was always a danger that consumers could end up losing discounts or other benefits simply because they don’t fit in with Ofgem’s blueprint – Ofgem needs to be monitoring this and ensuring that the changes it is making don’t end up reducing the opportunity for consumers to save money on their energy bills”.

 

If you need advice on how to find the best tariff, or on how to take control of your finances there is a lot of support available from charities, citizens advice centres and also debt management companies all of which may help alleviate any worries or problems you may have.

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