ELECTRICITY and gas soar to unaffordable levels. Why doesn’t the ‘Government Regulator’ regulate prices?
The Daily Squabble asked local residents how effectively the UK power market is regulated by ofgem.
“I think it does a great job in stopping people wasting energy,” said Stacey Gubbins. “I have completely given up on light bulbs and illuminate the one room I can afford to heat with a tealight from Asda. When I need the loo, I use a wind-up torch to navigate my way across the pitch-black hallway.”
“I can’t quite work out, as I now use less electricity than a peasant before the industrial revolution, why my bills are still £60 per month. Maybe it’s the fridge? My ambition is to switch my fridge off and dangle my perishable foods out of the windows in plastic bags. Unfortunately, I can’t afford any plastic bags once I have paid my electricity bill.”
Quentin Tightwad said: “My favourite hobby is to replace all my light bulbs with more efficient models. I just swapped all my 9 watt bulbs for 6 watt LEDs. Think of the power savings! Mind you, to change the whole house cost £300 but I should be quids in within a couple of hundred years or so”.
“Theoretically, as a consumer-champion, I should promote changing power supplier every 12 months as this is the main pathetic money-saving suggestion from the government after ‘install thick curtains to keep the frost out’.”
“However, my new supplier always cocks up my direct debits and stings me with an eye-wateringly large bill before it lets me leave. I always wish I hadn’t bothered switching as promised savings never seem to materialise and it takes a good six months, every time I transfer, to sort out the mess.”
“Switching your electricity provider is basically switching from a crap company to a s**t one. Your new provider will usually have a billing system that no-one in its call centre understands and appears incapable of producing a realistic estimate of your power usage.”
“It would be a lot better if there was one electricity company rather than six. Having six companies wasting money on duplicate billing systems and overheads is woefully inefficient.”
“I would much prefer to sign up with a single UK power supplier that is constantly forced to cut bills.”
We asked a Government civil servant to list ofgem’s benefits.
“That’s easy,” said ‘Sparky’. “We have final salary pensions, flexible working, 8 weeks’ holiday a year and a subsidised restaurant. But don’t worry, the public don’t pay for any of this – we charge the power companies for all our costs.”
“Oh, you meant what benefits does ofgem bring to electricity consumers. F**k knows! Have you tried swapping your supplier? Or how about only running your washing machine when it’s completely full and dry your clothes outside? That should do the trick. Must dash – have to take the afternoon off on flexitime.”
Stacey Gubbins said: “A washing machine? Who in Britain can afford to run a washing machine? I take my clothes down to the canal and scrub them against a washing board with a nailbrush. How can I ‘dry my clothes outside’? This is Much Craplock not Greece. It’s invariably p**sing with rain.”
Quentin Tightwad said: “Maybe our electricity bills might be smaller if ofgem employees didn’t have the 8 weeks’ holiday and the gold-plated pension?”
“I don’t know how I can possibly cut down my power bills any further. I might charge my laptop by attaching it to my exercise bike or try to generate electricity from the gas bubbling off my septic tank.”
“I will go outside and sit in the hot tub to think about it.”