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Energy Bills 'too Complicated To Understand'

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You shouldn't need to be an 'A' grade student to be able to understand your bills." Researchers estimated that people needed the equivalent of a C in GCSE mathematics ��" a high O-level ��" to fully understand bills. Last year, 55 per cent of school-leavers gained the grade.

found this bit funny

People need the equivalent of a C grade in GCSE mathematics to make sense of company charges, it is claimed.

In some cases, bills extend to seven pages and often require a decent grasp of subtraction, multiplication, division and percentages. The disclosure is made in a study by uSwitch, a price comparison website.

and this bit shocking.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/persona...understand.html

Edited by crash2006

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found this bit funny

and this bit shocking.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/persona...understand.html

They have a point. Gas bills shouldn't emphasize M^3 of gas used for example - who gives a crap?! It's the energy you're buying, and you don't have the leccy bill saying how many kg of coal were burnt generating the kwh of energy you've used. Prof McKay in his (free) book Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air has the bright idea of converting all the different units into that which matters - how much energy, in kwh.

Then you'll see that the energy cos gouge us for the first few thousand kwh to rake in the dosh, and then charge much less for whatever is used thereafter, thus promoting overuse (the last thing we need when we have to import energy).

(edit for typo)

Edited by newp

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Guest happy?
found this bit funny

and this bit shocking.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/persona...understand.html

It's a pity that this serious subject was not covered in a more thoughtful way. The energy companies essentially supply two products - gas and electricty on an infrastructure provided by other companies.

Given that they have only two products any reasonably person should ask themselves why is it that each individual company has 20-30 different tariff rates and why is it impossible for any reasonably educated person to make a meaningful comparison of those tariffs.

I concluded long ago that these companies do not want you to make a meaningful comparison. Their business strategy is to intentionally confuse customers, to effectively pump and dump customers.

The position stated by the Telegraph actually obscures the true position. The two-tier charging structures are impossible to untangle - even by someone with the requisite GCSE maths and spreadsheet. This is because not only do you not know when the tariff switches from one rate to another the increase in charges part way through the year make it impossible to know which of the two rates one is being charged and which at the old price and which at the new.

The energy tariffs are an excellent example of how competition far from assisting the consumer to make a rationale choice deliberate obscure and obfuscate.

It is time for the regulator to step-in and end this nonsense.

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It's a pity that this serious subject was not covered in a more thoughtful way. The energy companies essentially supply two products - gas and electricty on an infrastructure provided by other companies.

Given that they have only two products any reasonably person should ask themselves why is it that each individual company has 20-30 different tariff rates and why is it impossible for any reasonably educated person to make a meaningful comparison of those tariffs.

I concluded long ago that these companies do not want you to make a meaningful comparison. Their business strategy is to intentionally confuse customers, to effectively pump and dump customers.

The position stated by the Telegraph actually obscures the true position. The two-tier charging structures are impossible to untangle - even by someone with the requisite GCSE maths and spreadsheet. This is because not only do you not know when the tariff switches from one rate to another the increase in charges part way through the year make it impossible to know which of the two rates one is being charged and which at the old price and which at the new.

The energy tariffs are an excellent example of how competition far from assisting the consumer to make a rationale choice deliberate obscure and obfuscate.

It is time for the regulator to step-in and end this nonsense.

I agree totally with this post. It would be child's play to vastly simplify their tariffs for domestic and business users alike. Will the Tories have the balls to sort out this mess when they get in next year though? I seriously doubt it.

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It's a pity that this serious subject was not covered in a more thoughtful way. The energy companies essentially supply two products - gas and electricty on an infrastructure provided by other companies.

Given that they have only two products any reasonably person should ask themselves why is it that each individual company has 20-30 different tariff rates and why is it impossible for any reasonably educated person to make a meaningful comparison of those tariffs.

I concluded long ago that these companies do not want you to make a meaningful comparison. Their business strategy is to intentionally confuse customers, to effectively pump and dump customers.

The position stated by the Telegraph actually obscures the true position. The two-tier charging structures are impossible to untangle - even by someone with the requisite GCSE maths and spreadsheet. This is because not only do you not know when the tariff switches from one rate to another the increase in charges part way through the year make it impossible to know which of the two rates one is being charged and which at the old price and which at the new.

The energy tariffs are an excellent example of how competition far from assisting the consumer to make a rationale choice deliberate obscure and obfuscate.

It is time for the regulator to step-in and end this nonsense.

+1

bankers do the same... 30,000 mortgage "products" .... dont make me laugh.

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do the energy companies abroad try this trick or are we singled out for

special treatment here?

there are good marketing reasons for all the tarrifs.

I mean, yer little old lady might want a tarrif with no standing charges, and a family of 5 might want one with cheap daytime rates.

Marketers can make the simplest of tasks so complicated.

Ask anyone trying to licence microsoft products for anything more than a server and 10.

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The joys of 'choice' and 'competition' otherwise known as 'smoke' and 'mirrors'.

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+1

bankers do the same... 30,000 mortgage "products" .... dont make me laugh.

Same with the tax system.

Confusion is the friend of the manipulator and the con artist. Simples!

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It's a pity that this serious subject was not covered in a more thoughtful way. The energy companies essentially supply two products - gas and electricty on an infrastructure provided by other companies.

Given that they have only two products any reasonably person should ask themselves why is it that each individual company has 20-30 different tariff rates and why is it impossible for any reasonably educated person to make a meaningful comparison of those tariffs.

I concluded long ago that these companies do not want you to make a meaningful comparison. Their business strategy is to intentionally confuse customers, to effectively pump and dump customers.

The position stated by the Telegraph actually obscures the true position. The two-tier charging structures are impossible to untangle - even by someone with the requisite GCSE maths and spreadsheet. This is because not only do you not know when the tariff switches from one rate to another the increase in charges part way through the year make it impossible to know which of the two rates one is being charged and which at the old price and which at the new.

The energy tariffs are an excellent example of how competition far from assisting the consumer to make a rationale choice deliberate obscure and obfuscate.

It is time for the regulator to step-in and end this nonsense.

Well said.

The regulators should force the companies to show, on each quarterly bill, the amount of energy used - represented by

an average sized human stood next to a pile of coal equivalent to the energy consumed in the last 3 months.

That might shock a few people.

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