July 20, 2011

The Zen of Gas prices (Or how a 23% price hike is a selling point!)

My gas provider has written to inform me that they are unilaterally increasing their gas supply prices by 18% in four weeks time. This should increase my yearly heating bill by another £200.

However in the same letter they have also written to let me know that

'You can fix your gas prices until 2013 by signing up to our new Price Promise March 2013 tariff'

Essentially they are allocating a set tariff which they guarantee will not be raised for another 18 months. However the Price Promise March 2013 tariff is actually a 5% increase over and above the 18% increase already announced. In other words they are wanting suckers to sign up for a 23% price increase guaranteed for 18 months regardless of what the market does.

By itself this is outrageous (and has caused the UK competition committe to sit up and take notice), but this is being executed by a company which has announced a 24% leap in profits last year and who's parent company, Centrica, are making profits of £2.3bn a year.

I wonder how many old age pensioners will either a) Sit in the cold this winter because they can't afford to heat the place, or b) Sign up for the fixed price tariff thinking they are saving money, because they've received this notice, while the fat cats at the energy company rake in the profits.

I'm hoping they're wearing a condom because I feel like I'm being screwed....

Posted via email from The Posterous Cafe