npower still leaving us in the dark
PUBLISHED: 13:05 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 July 2010
A DISTURBING letter arrived last week from our gas and electricity supplier, npower. After a lot of beating about the bush, it eventually got to the point: "… we now have to increase our prices.
A DISTURBING letter arrived last week from our gas and electricity supplier, npower. After a lot of beating about the bush, it eventually got to the point: “… we now have to increase our prices.”
We had been expecting it, having heard a sorry succession of painful rises announced by other suppliers since the New Year, blamed on escalating world prices for oil, coal and gas.
Readers across north Norfolk will have received similarly-depressing post over the past fortnight.
What especially troubled me was a missing piece of vital information in our letter.
Did your suppliers tell you the thing we most wanted to know: “how much?”
I am astonished and appalled that any company, let alone one of the major players, can impose an increase on its customers without informing them of the amount involved - are we talking £4.25 npower? Or perhaps it's £50.72? Or could it be £173.86?
How dare they.
Consumer watchdog Energywatch has criticised suppliers saying the rises are not justified and it is impossible to calculate how much excess profit they are making because they are not transparent about what they pay.
You're telling me they're not transparent!
I've since discovered, through my own digging and delving, that npower has increased its gas charges by 17.2pc and electricity by 12.7pc - those are heart-stopping rises about which consumers have an absolute right to be informed.
Energywatch has also said average annual household fuel bills will now breach the £1000 barrier - the sort of grand start to 2008 we could all do without.
At that rate we'll be completely in the dark next winter - just how npower leaves its customers.