CENTRICA bosses have called on the energy regulator to abolish the flat fees that add around £300 to customers’ bills.
The day before the announcement of Ofgem’s new price cap, Chris O’Shea told The Sun that the regulator should change the “really unfair” system to make it “more affordable and easy”. more knowledgable”.
“Fixed fees hit people who are careful about their energy use the most — and these are often people from low-income households and consumers,” said Mr. O’Shea. prepaid clock.
“I have learned from conversations with prepaid customers that flat fees can cause them to inadvertently accumulate debt during the warmer summer months.”
The Centrica boss said the regulator should eliminate the flat fee and include the cost in the unit cost of the price cap so that “those who carefully manage their energy use can see the benefits”. great benefit”.
“We are pushing for permanent fee reductions,” said Martin Lewis, consumer champion.
Centrica was embroiled in a scandal earlier this year when British Gas debt dealers broke into the homes of vulnerable people to force the installation of prepaid meters.
Mr. O’Shea apologized and pledged to end this practice on vulnerable homes.
Centrica made a record £3.3 billion profit in the past year as higher energy prices boosted the company’s exploration, trade and production activities. But profits in the UK Gas supply division fell from £118m to £72m.
Mr O’Shea yesterday repeated his call for a social tax to be imposed on those who need assistance paying the bills.
The government stepped in to help households during the energy crisis last year amid fears bills could soar as high as £6,000.
However, there has been much criticism that the relief should have been better targeted with larger amounts of money to poorer households.
“We can’t have a system where the rich get as much support for their energy bills as the poor – that’s crazy,” Mr O’Shea said.
“The introduction of the social tariff will be a game changer for consumers already struggling with rising energy costs, food bills, rent and mortgage rates.”
The energy veteran has also called for the regulator to end the postcode energy pricing lottery under which some areas pay more for their bills due to the cost of transporting electricity.
rap ‘cheating’ energy
Generators will be banned from a wheeze that cost the National Grid £525m last year.
Ofgem plans to clamp down on generators that say they will shut down, then turn back on when prices are higher at peak times. Companies, such as Vitol VPI, Uniper and SSE have been accused of asking “excessive” prices.
Under the new rules, generators that need more than an hour to turn off and back on will not be allowed to charge significantly more prices than they did when they were just running.
Togs ‘will crash’
The boss of retailer H&M has hinted that fashion prices could start to fall as inflation eases.
Since the pandemic hit, clothing chains have faced a slew of extra costs due to higher cotton, polyester, shipping and shipping costs.
However, Helena Helmerson said the cost of materials is now falling so clothes can become cheaper. “Of course that comes with the opportunity for a price correction,” she said.
H&M shares hit their highest in more than a year and a half after reported cost-cutting measures helped to beat expectations with a profit of £343 million.
Ms. Helmersson said that the summer collections of H&M, COS and Arket were popular, with sales in June being 10% higher than last year.
Cheap price booster for B&M
SHOPPERS boosted sales at B&M Bargains as they turned to discounts to make more money.
The company behind B&M said sales rose 13.5% to £1.3 billion in the three months to June 24.
In stores in the UK, sales increased 11.3%, while sales of discount groceries, Heron Foods, increased sales 19.4%.
Boss Alex Russo said strong trading was due to his “relentless focus on price, product and excellence in retail standards”. B&M wants to expand from 707 UK stores to 950 in the next few years.
“Discount retailer B&M is reaping the benefits of being perfectly positioned to serve demanding consumers,” said Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor.
Despite strong trading, shares of B&M fell 6% to 555p yesterday as investors were disappointed that bosses did not take the opportunity to increase profit forecasts.
Slides on cards
ONLINE greeting card company Moonpig posted its second drop in profits since going public.
Owner Moonpig.com said pre-tax profits fell 12.6% to £34.9m after being hit by the Royal Mail’s Christmas strikes, higher interest rates and investment into more technologies.
Revenue rose 5.2% to £320m in the year to the end of April following a rise in greeting card prices.
The Bank of England has acknowledged that its forecasting models have had difficulty predicting trends but argued that any Central Bank would have difficulty.
Huw Pill, chief economist, defended the Bank’s record of mispredicting figures on unemployment, growth and inflation, saying: “All economic models are wrong, but some models are useful.”
Referring to the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he added: “Any single model would struggle to capture the impact of these economic shocks.”
Home loan increases
HIGH street banks have raised mortgage rates again.
According to financial website Moneyfacts, the average two-year fixed mortgage rate is currently 6.37% and the five-year fixed rate is 5.94%. In 2021 it is 2.25%.
Bank interest rates rose last week to 5% but the average easy-to-access savings account gives customers an interest rate of 2.37%.
Analysts at Schroder said they expected more rate hikes to 6.25%. The government has told the watchdog to control the profiteering.
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