Energy bills reach £1,000: A report in today's Daily Express, focusing on British Gas, says:"Customers’ biggest beefs were allegedly inaccurate bills and British Gas’s failure to respond to inquiries" .
I was startled by the massive jump in my own standing order to British Gas, when the winter estimate arrived last week, even though I had taken advantage of their two year price protection scheme. It took me a long time to get through on the phone to their customer service line and when I did get through, the girl couldn't help. Apparently another department does the estimates and I have to wait until the middle of this month for a second letter which will give the details of the last six month's usage and their "Winter" projection, which triggered the rise in the standing order.
Not only is this grossly inefficient, it's worrying too. Energy bills appear to have more than doubled in the last year. The average gas bill is now £510.60 per year, while electricity is £453.24. Many customers are paying more. The painful hikes over thelast twelve months have only compounded earlier misery. Gas prices have almost doubled in three years, while electricity has gone up by around two-thirds.
If the Winter cold snap arrives at the end of this month as predicted, then the most vulnerable elderly people will surely suffer because they won't be able to afford to heat their homes or wait three months for a government heating allowance to appear.
It's even more scandalous when you hear that: "Last month Britain was so awash with gas that traders were forced to pay to get it taken off their hands. "