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catch
Hi playmates I post on Money Saving Expert occasionally, and here is one I posted to day:

[b]If you actually pay the energy bills in your house I think you better read on. THE PRESS LIES TO YOU.[/b]

Actual post at MSE:

I also received a tariff price increases email.

I have been on their Online Energy Saver 10 Dual Fuel package since September 2010. Coincidently they increased the tariffs in that package two months later, and now their latest price rises.

In my case the nett of Vat prices are as follows [ Why they express domestics tariffs as nett of Vat is beyond me, as I cannot get out of paying it]

Anyway no matter:
Electricity:
First 225kWh used each quarter......current 16.187 new 22.104 that's a [b]36.55% increase[/b]
All/Day remaining kWh...................current 6.171 new 10.348 that's a [b]67.69% increase
[/b]
Gas:
First 670kWh used each quarter....current 5.106p new 7.419p that's a [b]45.30% increase[/b]
All/Day remaining kWh.................current 2.641p new 3.381p that's a [b]28.02% increase
[/b]
Now being a spreadsheet Geek [I have monthly consumption statistics going back six years at this house]

I can state my energy mix, for the rolling 365 day period, ending Wednesday 15th June 2011, as 5404 Kwh Electric and 10222 Kwh Gas energy consumed in that period. And on those figures it means my next total energy bill will increase by [b]51.30%.[/b]

But if you just use the actual tariff price differences as outlined above it means average electric bills will rise by [b]56.98%[/b]
and gas by [b]35.06%[/b] and on the above consumption figures, using the stated tariff figure increases as expressed in the email. That's a [b]49.30%[/b] extra on an average bill. Of course dependent on which deal you are on means people on here are reporting different percentage increases,

Anyway Wednesday I contacted SP by email not wishing to wait nearly three hours for a call back, I also contacted the BBC as they peddled the lie Scottish Power energy is going up circa 10% electric and 15% gas. Well come to day nothing ziltch not interested. So I've email my MP to ask why the public are being mislead in relation to the real cost implications of these tariff increases. He replied he is writing to Scottish Power, so told me not to hold my breath....Hello!

So I have since sent him a more "focused" email, part quote below:

[color="#0000FF"]"I'm utterly Gobsmacked that nobody but nobody, in the government, the opposition, the so called investigative media, so called economic forecasters, have not run the Scottish Power figures through a simple spread sheet. How the BBC did not see my correspondence as being of Public Interest is beyond me, yet another Tax Payer funded organisation, not fit for purpose

Before I could go public with these facts, I first needed to get clarification that the price increases sent out to me were not in fact an error. Well today I manage to contact Scottish Power by phone, and they confirmed those figures were indeed correct.

They first tried to stonewall me by saying the price increases have been passed by OFGEM, and their wording in the press release was correct.

I said I'm not interested what wool you have apparently pull over some civil servants eyes. What I'm saying is Scottish Power and every news media outlet, every MP on Question Time that regurgitates your figures that Electricity prices will increase by 10% and Gas prises by 19% is MISS LEADING THE PUBLIC. I said if you were to take a straw poll of every Scottish Power customer, they would believe their energy bills were set to raise by those figures.

I then asked him, using my annual energy consumption figures of 5404 Kwh of Electricity, and 10222 Kwh of Gas. To work out the actual percentage price increase of those two energy components as reflected in my total bill.

After much pressing of buttons he came back with figures of 27% increase in electric and 35% increase in gas. THE LIE IS OUT! But hang on we are again taking his figures at face value. And again even that is a projection far from the truth."[/color]

I'm still awaiting a reply to that one, but to be fair it was sent at lunch time.

I also find it astonishing that a Scottish Power customer services person having the same figures to hand as myself in regard to consumption. Comes up with energy cost increases to my account of 27% electric and 35% gas. When the correct energy cost increases are in fact [b]60%+ and 35%+[/b]

SS
btmaldon
Hi Catch. Well done for pushing the issue.

The media I read mentioned 19% increase, but as you have already identified, this does not appear to reflect the domestic tariffs.

As soon as I heard this, I thought I would fix my tariff with British Gas, to avoid another hike in the near future. It appears that to lock your prices in with British Gas, you have to pay a 19% premium on the standard tariff.

I get the impression that this is really price fixing via another means. You cannot win with these thieves.
catch
[quote name='btmaldon' timestamp='1308325243' post='132196']
Hi Catch. Well done for pushing the issue.

The media I read mentioned 19% increase, but as you have already identified, this does not appear to reflect the domestic tariffs.

As soon as I heard this, I thought I would fix my tariff with British Gas, to avoid another hike in the near future. It appears that to lock your prices in with British Gas, you have to pay a 19% premium on the standard tariff.

I get the impression that this is really price fixing via another means. You cannot win with these thieves.
[/quote]tell me about it.

I had a run in with Scottish Power just the other month after asking me to input my meter readings online.

Like I say I joined SP back in September 2010, so at the time they were holding energy data for my account amounting to circa 67.5% of the year. Well once I input the data, the web page refreshed to show my account in real time.....it was £92 in debit. The page then refreshed again to inform me they were upping my direct debit by £10 or 15.87%. I promptly rang them up and told them I was not sanctioning the pro yearly increase of another £120 as there was no need.

Well the lady customer services representative became "shirty" I said look I worked my direct debit out from the actual last years consumption figures with my last provider, and the debit will disappear come the last payment covering that 12 month period. She said she can check those figures, I said be my guest, she said I'll ring you back then after I have checked them, I said I'll look forwarded to it.

Sure enough she rang me back, well do my figures confirm what I said? Yes but what you don't seem to grasp is your £92 in debit. I said look, I don't normally explain to people that which they are being paid for to already know but in this instance I will. Yes it was an intentional wind up on my part, but she asked for it.

I said it is the energy companies that insist I pay my annual bill in 12 equal monthly instalments. However with the vagaries of the weather and the fact I joined SP just prior to the onset of winter. The reality is I don't consume my energy in 12 equal monthly amounts. For instance as my heating is predominately provided by way of a gas boiler, in the 67.5% of the year you hold actual data on, I consume 89% of my gas Kw hours. Look I'll give you an example in the 30 day period ending on the 28th of December 2010, I was consuming on a daily average 76.56Kwh of gas, the electric was 20.23Kwh.

Now in the last 43 day period ending 12th June 2011 I'm consuming on a daily average 14.29Kwh gas and 13.63Kwh electric. And in the following 114 days of this outstanding yearly period, those figures will drop as low as 6.47Kwh gas and 11.16 Kwh electric. And on top of that there are four more outstanding direct debits to be set against my account. You know what she said? Well yes that may be so, but your account is still £92 in debit. OK, if you refuse to the sanction the DD increase I will have to mark your account in relation to this conversation.....I said you just do that, and put the phone down.

Fact of the matter is the energy companies are well aware of these seasonal statistical differences. But they rely on the ignorance of the general public, so that they can up your direct debit payments. Think about it, how many millions of people are there out there who in reality are lending the energy companies collectively millions of pounds at Zero Rate Interest.

It is a prerequisite of the "Rigged Democratic Model" by which we elect governments in the UK and the US. That the voting public by enlarge are ignorant of the facts. How do they do this? I hear you say. Well the big money that actually rules the world firstly buys up the "Free Press" Once that is accomplished they dumb down the electorate on a diet of Hate, Fear, Celebrity and truth totally misinterpreted, or intentionally omitted.....You surely don't think the powerful corporations running the world, en trust their fortunes to the vagaries of a voting public fed on the truth.

Our leaders are always in the pockets of rich men. Hence they pick up millions of dollars when they join the Big Money Private Banks and Corporations, once they are voted out by the dissatisfied electorate. Look at it this way an election is a two horse race by and large, with two joint favourites. But the rub is both Jockeys are running out of the same stables......The Industrial Military Complex.

Surely not Ed Miliband I hear some say, well no that was not supposed to happen. But don't worry come the time of the next change of government. When you are all sick to the back teeth of the Tories, Big Brother David will be in charge of the Labour Party.
btmaldon
I must say, I am impressed with your use of spreadsheets. As an Accountant, I manage the control, reporting and monitoring of project spend for Post Office Ltd. Now with a company this size, you can imagine some of the reporting needs are quite advanced. I have just finished creating a whole new reporting system and process for the business, as well as building a new sales and income reporting system for all our 2700 products.

I love working with Excel, and to be honest, following the last round of cuts, where the Finance directorate were reduced by 30%, the only reason I still have a job, is because I am probably the most experienced builder of reporting systems in the company. All thanks to Excel.

However, when I get home, the only spreadsheet I have is for keeping track of our personal accounts. I cant face it otherwise.

Keep up the good work.
catch
BTM

Nay sir, me being a mere amateur, I bow in the presence of a true professional. :)
Though having run my own business in the past,it was important I could see which parts of the businesses were preforming as expected. And more importantly highlighting the areas that were under performing.

My accountant used to say if our figures didn't match, he would go back and check his. Well the truth of the matter is, I doubt he partook in the assembling of the accounts. That would be left to a lesser pay scale minion.

But now with the advent of computer software anything is possible for anybody willing to put a bit of time over to it. Now although I have a full suite of Microsoft Office XP Pro on the PC. I also have the free to download Open Office Suite, and I ended up using the spreadsheet offerings in Open Office. I suppose it's what you get used to working with.

So I would say to anybody reading this thread, and needing an office suite, why not go to [url="http://www.openoffice.org/"]Open Office org[/url] it is a 148MB download. You will also find user documentation and extensions to the office suite of programs [url="http://update.services.openoffice.org/ooo/index.html?cid=920899"]HERE[/url]









Mastering Figures, Though Painful At Times, Can Be Fun :D

[IMG]http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y147/suggy1/leather.jpg[/IMG]
jeebowhite
I too am very impressed with what you have come up with Catch, I use Open Office to monitor my finances, and for a free product it is brilliant! Spreadsheets are a little known secret in the world of living, and can really be good to forecast what lies ahead.

Back to the conversation, I really admire the way you are taking on the cowboys, question is, did they black mark your account and then whinge at you for the fact that you dared to speak out? I can see one of these days we will be leaving in a TRON society. We will all be wearing some form of recording material that will completely record our every move, and will be kept well and truly in line like many of the futuristic films portray.

Being “fortunate” enough to still live with the in-laws I have yet to discover the pleasure that is real domestic finances, and working out what I am paying for.
KWH is something I studied as a measure at school 6 years ago, haven’t seen it since, so most of what you said just went straight over my head, but that might be more the mathematics of it. But even someone as “ignorant” as I am too these sort of payments can see, that the Direct Debit should be variable and not fixed dependant only on what the consumption is of your home, but then again, because I don’t have the knowledge of the exact numbers, the pricing of said numbers, then I certainly couldn’t speak out… it makes you wonder how many out there are in the same boat – and more to the point how many of them are ignorant to the fact!

I will be keeping an eye on this thread, and want to see you take them DOWN!!!!  That will be an excellent read! I also look forward to Catch’s Financial Masterclass – hopefully you could educate the likes of me on how to interpret and stand up on these things ;) lol
catch
[quote name='jeebowhite' timestamp='1308559368' post='132540']
I too am very impressed with what you have come up with Catch, I use Open Office to monitor my finances, and for a free product it is brilliant! Spreadsheets are a little known secret in the world of living, and can really be good to forecast what lies ahead.

Back to the conversation, I really admire the way you are taking on the cowboys, question is, did they black mark your account and then whinge at you for the fact that you dared to speak out?[/quote]

I've got two complaints logged on my account, but funny thing is I rang them yesterday to confirm the Calorific Value needed to do the Gas feet/meters calculation to KWh. And I got a customer services pick up straight away :)

[quote]I can see one of these days we will be leaving in a TRON society. We will all be wearing some form of recording material that will completely record our every move, and will be kept well and truly in line like many of the futuristic films portray.[/quote]

So very true, as the Middle East Arab Police client states of the "Industrial Military Complex" and the Syrian regime not in the pocket of the IMC, but whom "rendered" [tortured] people on it's behalf. Have found to their cost. The greatest threat to the Totalitarian State is from the civilian population.


[quote]I will be keeping an eye on this thread, and want to see you take them DOWN!!!!  That will be an excellent read![/quote]

I doubt that will happen, it is not in governments interest for the populace to be made aware of the true extent of the energy price increases coming our way. The near collapse of the Anglo American Financial System, means the "fiat currency" [paper money] value of the US Dollar and Sterling in real terms has dropped due to Quantitative Easing [printing money] The more Dollars/Pounds you print, the less each existing Dollar/Pound in circulation is worth. This is then reflected in the raising fiat currency value per barrel of oil and gas. Yet another example of the electorate having to take it up the @rse to bail out the banking system.

[quote]I also look forward to Catch’s Financial Masterclass – hopefully you could educate the likes of me on how to interpret and stand up on these things ;) lol
[/quote]

Nay don't get carried away Jeeb, I'm no financial whizz kid. No, where some peeps use the internet to see what their thousands of Face Book friends had for breakfast, I've chosen to use the internet to educate myself.........each to their own as they say.

I've knocked together a simple spreadsheet for anybody wanting to record their energy consumption, and cost of same. I've made it as self explanatory as I can, use the Blue and Yellow shaded areas to input price and annual consumption data.

I've set two up, so you can compare what your paying now to what you will pay if the tariffs increase. If you have a payment plan that has a set value standing charge and only one tariff per fuel.Then in the second tariff column enter the standing charge value. If the plan then offers a set discount say 6% per fuel, just alter the column equations to reflect that instance. I could have included an example, but I believe people learn more if they have to solve some problems themselves.

OH SH@T I've hit that, cannot upload spreadsheets problem again with the message "error YOU AREN'T PERMITTED TO UPLOAD THIS KIND OF FILE" Get the mods to sort it out and I'll make it available.
jeebowhite
[quote name='catch' timestamp='1308670173' post='132731']
I've got two complaints logged on my account, but funny thing is I rang them yesterday to confirm the Calorific Value needed to do the Gas feet/meters calculation to KWh. And I got a customer services pick up straight away :)



So very true, as the Middle East Arab Police client states of the "Industrial Military Complex" and the Syrian regime not in the pocket of the IMC, but whom "rendered" [tortured] people on it's behalf. Have found to their cost. The greatest threat to the Totalitarian State is from the civilian population.




I doubt that will happen, it is not in governments interest for the populace to be made aware of the true extent of the energy price increases coming our way. The near collapse of the Anglo American Financial System, means the "fiat currency" [paper money] value of the US Dollar and Sterling in real terms has dropped due to Quantitative Easing [printing money] The more Dollars/Pounds you print, the less each existing Dollar/Pound in circulation is worth. This is then reflected in the raising fiat currency value per barrel of oil and gas. Yet another example of the electorate having to take it up the @rse to bail out the banking system.



Nay don't get carried away Jeeb, I'm no financial whizz kid. No, where some peeps use the internet to see what their thousands of Face Book friends had for breakfast, I've chosen to use the internet to educate myself.........each to their own as they say.

I've knocked together a simple spreadsheet for anybody wanting to record their energy consumption, and cost of same. I've made it as self explanatory as I can, use the Blue and Yellow shaded areas to input price and annual consumption data.

I've set two up, so you can compare what your paying now to what you will pay if the tariffs increase. If you have a payment plan that has a set value standing charge and only one tariff per fuel.Then in the second tariff column enter the standing charge value. If the plan then offers a set discount say 6% per fuel, just alter the column equations to reflect that instance. I could have included an example, but I believe people learn more if they have to solve some problems themselves.

OH SH@T I've hit that, cannot upload spreadsheets problem again with the message "error YOU AREN'T PERMITTED TO UPLOAD THIS KIND OF FILE" Get the mods to sort it out and I'll make it available.
[/quote]

I just posted a spreadsheet, but I think thats because of the different file extension (mines .xls, but open office use something different!) however, I have also posted a zip file - so if you send the file to a zipped folder you can upload that :)

EDIT: Deleted test files
catch
OK how about this in .xls............ sorted


I saw on the BBC News this morning, OFGEM have woken up to Scottish Powers miss information at last. I went on the OFGEM web site yesterday, it said it does not handle energy complaints, and to go to Consumer Direct. I've been there before and ...well a long story ..for another day maybe..lets just say a lady I talked to on there was not the brightest bulb in the pack. :ph34r:

And I was about to bang them an email out anyway, but a mate turned up from down the motorway. So we sat there a few hours putting the world to right, so I never got on with it.

Anyway though they OFGEM do not accept complaints, I still sent them this email this morning, complete with the above spreadsheet attached :rolleyes:

[color="#0000FF"]Good Morning,

I'm glad OFGEM is investigating Scottish Powers miss information Press Release in regard to the actual percentage cost of the forthcoming increased fuel prices

Included below is the time line of events and denials by Scottish Power in regard to their deliberate miss information that was distributed by the news media. And their attempt to give credence to the lie by giving the impression it had all been cleared through OFGEM first.

I received the enclosed notification from Scottish Power last Wednesday regarding the price increases. And on entering said data into a spreadsheet I have constructed to monitor consumption and cost. It was immediately apparent to me that the figures quoted in the press were wildly inaccurate.

Last September I signed up to a new "Online Energy Saver 10" contract with Scottish Power. The contract on their part was that they would bill me at two percent below their standard rates for gas and electricity. On my part I was subjected to a cancellation penalty of £50 if I ended the contract before the contract expired in twelve months.

Indeed, two months into the contract they increased electricity prices by 5% and gas by just under 1%. Obviously as the contract was not a fixed price contract they were in titled to do so. Like wise they are in titled to increase prices this August.

My complaint is, that due to the tariff one and tariff two pricing structure for both gas and electricity. In reality my electricity costs will rise by 56% and gas by 26% resulting in an overall 49% increase of energy bills after applying Direct Debit and Duel Fuel Discounts.

To release a Press Notification that electricity and gas prices were to increase by an average of 10% and 19% respectively was a deliberate LIE.

Coincidently, I attempted to contacted Scottish Power by phone that very day but on being offered a three hour call back, I decided to put my complaint in an email. The same day I emailed the BBC, stating they had broadcast Miss Information, and stating the true costs increases, I received no reply. That evening I also contacted my MP. The following day I managed contact Scottish Power by phone, and when I put the accusation to them that they had deliberately miss represented the percentage price increases.

They said [all in one sentence] the Press Release was factual and that the price increases had been sanctioned by OFGEM. Now telephone customer services operatives read from on screen scripts. And it was blatantly obvious to me that Scottish Powers management had deliberately used a "slight of hand " approach to the usage of language, in an attempt to give their lie credence by linking it in the same sentence to the fact OFGEM had sanctioned the price increase.

I attach spreadsheets that reflect the true cost of energy price increases in relation to my annual energy consumption. One in the original Open Office format, and one in its Microsoft Excel conversion.

Might I just add, that in seven years of using U-Switch to source cheaper energy. I have found myself oscillating between contracts with Scottish Power and EDF, or a subsidiary of EDF on one occasion. It begs the question, given all the players in the market it there some sort of regional cartel being run by the energy companies?

Regards,

[/color]

Oh the joys of the inter-wed thingy
catch
Off to bend an ear at Morrisions, 300 yards away. Was in there last night, you know how they put Special Offers on the Isle Ends for greater impact. Well they had one on Muller Light yoghurt's, £2 a pack [normally £3.29] Mind you down another isle they were promoting them 2 packs for £5, Hello that's £2.50 each for buying twice the volume!

I said to the wife remind me to check at the till they are £2 on special offer. Well you know how it is, trying to stop the wife filling up on those impulse buys that they festoon the check outs with......I forgot to check the yoghurt's price...............sure enough got home,looked at the bill and they had charged £3.29 that's twice they have done that in less than a month on the Muller yoghurt's.
jeebowhite
Nicely done! will be interesting to see how hard SP get kicked!
catch
update:

Popped into Morrisons, explained the above to a lady manning the CS desk [dual roll with the news / cigarettes and lottery counter] Morrisons like to squeeze 120% out of their employees :rolleyes: Nevertheless she was very pleasant and understanding, when said I was not just wanting the over charge rectifying, but I wished to speak to the manager as well.

The under manager dually arrived, and I explained it was the second time to my knowledge that this particular product special offer was wrong, in a matter of weeks. And if we were to multiply said occurrences by the many special offers running in store at any given time.

It begged the question, is it Morrisions management policy at a national level, or in this case at local level to deliberately leave "lapsed special offers" on display by a day or two, after they have been returned to normal price at the tills? Fully prepared to pay out customers who are diligent enough to check their receipts. I said if you do the maths, across all the Morrisions Stores annually it can add up to a tidy sum.

I did not honestly expect an answer to that question. It was merely intended to focus his attention to the fact, I attached gravitas to the regularity of these over charges and his dealings with me should reflect that fact. He was I admit very apologetic, so I cut him some slack, by saying I fully understood the logistics of running a busy store. But I qualified that by saying, Morrisions invest many "employee hours" into what is called "facing up the product" to promote the visual image of the store....and in case regional managment drops by unexpected :rolleyes:

I then suggested they redirect some of those "employee hours" to ensure Special Offer tickets were removed prior to the offer being removed from the computerised tills.

I said, I hope he took my criticism as being constructive, and if he sanctioned the reimburse of the £1.29 I'd be on my way. He said I'll do better than that, you take the product home, and turning to the lady instructed her to give me a full refund. He then went on to say, if I have any future problems to ask to speak to him personally.

So you see, be it an energy company, a car dealership, or your local supermarket, never assume business is there to serve your best interests. No need to go in all guns blazing.....but having said that, I will use another metaphor by saying the following:

Prepare your argument as you would a field of battle. In that you present your forces [argument] in such a manner, that it is apparent to the other side, any defence [argument] they may attempt to put up. Will be swept away by the logic of your assault/argument.

As the TV character Citizen Smith used to say POWER TO THE PEOPLE
cyb
[quote name='catch' timestamp='1308745289' post='132823']
update:


As the TV character Citizen Smith used to say POWER TO THE PEOPLE
[/quote]




Catch remind me never to get into an argument with you :)

Not sure if this is of interest and I would suggest if it is do it now before the UK government change their minds.
[url="http://www.homesun.com/"]HOMESUN[/url]

I and several of my neighbours are in the process of having them fitted at the moment
catch
[quote name='cyb' timestamp='1308753860' post='132832']
Catch remind me never to get into an argument with you :) [/quote]

:D

mind you it works both ways, in that I never waste my time pushing what I honestly believe is an indefensible argument.

Mind you nothing wrong with playing "The Devil's Advocate" in a forum debate sometimes, just to liven it up :rolleyes:


[quote]Not sure if this is of interest and I would suggest if it is do it now before the UK government change their minds.
[url="http://www.homesun.com/"]HOMESUN[/url]

I and several of my neighbours are in the process of having them fitted at the moment
[/quote]

Yes that's interesting, keep us posted regards your savings. Where I live we are in a conservation area, our houses are not listed, but we live in the shadow of a mill development that is. One of my neighbours had a small dining room extension built. It had a set of French doors on the elevation onto the garden, and on the 3 metre side it had a high up 30cm window running the length of the side elevation. They deviated from the plan and fit a lean to glass roof as they realised during the building process it would be quite dark inside.

Somebody in the mill complex must have complained that it did not fit in with the roof scape. And though they appealed, they had to replace it with a tiled roof.


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