Much bigger energy bills are on their way to households for and a warning was sounded this week that there is much worse to come. Energy bosses told MPs that 40% of households could end up in fuel poverty and raised the prospect of a ‘truly horrific’ winter, with the price cap tipped to rise another 30% or more in October just as the heating goes back on. Energy firms are not responsible for the surge in gas and electricity prices but watchdog Ofgem warned that some may not be treating customers fairly on monthly direct debit payments. Meanwhile, This is Money has been contacted by reams of customers struggling to get incorrect bills fixed but being threatened with debt collectors by bullying energy firms. What can be done to help customers struggling with soaring bills? Will Rishi Sunak have to step in with more meaningful help than his £200 off now, pay it back later deal? Should wealthier customers subsidise the bills of the poorer? And how do we make energy firms get their act together? All these questions and more are tackled by Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert. Also on this show, how do you know if you are saving enough for retirement and are there any positives to encourage you, as more gloom-laden warnings about our pension pots pot being big enough land? Plus, why has the Great British Rail Sale managed to get not one, not two, but all three of our podcasters riled? And finally, why is Netflix having a wobble and does it mark a change in consumer and investor behaviour?
Adam Cox is joined by Jane Lucy, CEO of Labrador, to discuss how recent energy price rises will affect the British public, and why finding a good deal on energy is currently so difficult. Jane explains who Labrador are, and what their new service launching this week is.
Where do you stand on smart meters? This seemingly common sense technological advance in how we are billed for energy has proved hugely divisive. From concerns over security and surveillance, to a mistrust of energy companies, and a botched and sometimes accused of bullying rollout, smart meters have not proved the popular success it was hoped they would be. Now things have stepped up a gear, as an Ofgem change will lead to smart meters being able to send half hour updates to energy providers - opening the door for electricity pricing to change at different times of day. The idea is that this will help smooth usage and make the transition to green energy easier and cheaper, while saving customers money. That makes sense: why not charge your electric car or run the tumble drier when demand is low and so are prices? But it also creates the potential for a troubling scenario for many, where energy pricing is used to change our behaviour. Meanwhile, people also question whether private companies that sell us power are likely to give up profits and allow our energy bills to get cheaper overall. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the latest smart meter controversy and whether we are overthinking this. Also, there’s some number crunching on what people need to do to combat inflation’s effect on their spending, income and wealth. The team discuss the weird world of rising second hand car prices and used cars worth more than new ones. And finally, friend of This is Money, Dave Fishwick – of Bank of Dave fame – is going to be the subject of a movie. Lee updates on what Dave briefed him about earlier.
The pros of the property market right now, and how to save energy this winter. If you can keep your head, while other home buyers lose theirs…you could get yourself a better deal! Plus, the team bust some energy-saving myths, looking at whether carbon credit offsetting is a big old waste of money – or a good way to save the planet. And ‘tis the season to book your festive break, but what are the top best-value destinations for your Christmas holiday?
Adam talks to Rob Lindley, the Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors about new research that reveals that since only 1% of new cars are fully electric it’s looking unlikely that the government will meet it’s target for zero emissions on the roads by 2050. They discuss how technology such as PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicles) enable motorists to drive half their miles in fully electric mode while giving them the reassurance that they wont be stranded. Rob highlights that currently the government is giving mixed messages when it comes to PHEVs and that more needs to be done. While incentives encourage some deterrents like Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) can also encourage drivers to seek greener vehicles.
Georgie Frost is joined by editor Simon Lambert and assistant editor Lee Boyce to talk about going green, giving you some useful tips and tricks that are good for the planet as well as your wallet. Also they'll be looking at why the hybrid car of choice, the Toyota Prius, isn’t just for Uber drivers and eco-conscious celebs. Plus…the team look at where the 40 something year old business owner with no pension should invest; continue to puzzle over the baffling state pension top-up system and ask just how far over the limit CAN you drive in your area before being issued with a ticket?
Adam talks to Lauren Vasquez, an engineer for British Gas about research that suggests that first time buyers don’t investigate the energy efficiency of their first home purchase. This is surprising since many first time buyers are financially stretched with the cost of the deposit and the monthly mortgage and initial home buying costs. The unknown energy costs of the property could cause additional stress on an already stressful financial decision. Lauren offers some tips on how to make sense of an Energy Performance Certificate and how to make homes more energy efficient.
Welcome to 1984 – the hidden twist in the smart meter saga that could see suppliers take control of your account. Plus, victory for the fans as Ticketmaster takes a significant step to combat 'professional' touts. Also…Can you get on the property ladder with £10 thousand, and how to avoid being a CV cliché!
Almost everyone is in favor of advancements in green energy. But we’re still a long way off from cleaner sources being able to take over from more traditional forms of energy, like fossil fuels. If we were to make the switch now, it would inevitably mean moving from a high-energy society to a low-energy society. But what would this mean in practice?
Today we’re speaking with the IEA’s Head of Education, Dr Steve Davies. Steve paints a picture of radical changes that would have to be made in order to adapt to a low-energy society. Two major changes include a return to agriculture focus in local areas, with over 30 per cent of the population needing to return to the farms to make sure communities could be fed. Furthermore, it would almost certainly mean the return of traditional gender roles, as it was the many advancements in energy in particular, that enabled women to liberate themselves out of the home and into the workforce. And while many people who advocate for a low-energy society seem to think that the things they like will continue, while the things they loathe will be scrapped, Steve argues that many conveniences, and indeed miracles, of modern society – like international plane travel and use of the internet – would be wiped out almost completely, with only the world’s elite having access to such luxuries.
Georgie Frost is joined by financial heavy weights Lindsay Cook and Andy Webb. This week they take on the malfunctioning smart meters charging people as much as seven times their normal bill. Plus why insurance companies are getting the sucker punch this week and is it really a good idea to pay off your student debt?
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