Lit the stove last night. Winter is coming fast. So what do the energy companies do? They set us up to fail when we try to get the best deal on our gas and electricity tariffs over the winter months.
Until April energy companies could not exclude existing customers from cheap new deals. Ofgem had ruled in 2014 that new tariffs should be offered to everyone. Since then they have been working on new chart-topping tariffs that will not be available for all.
From November the regulator will no longer make sure that the market is fair.
If the companies were playing fair they would want offer new tariffs to everyone. They know that up to 80% of energy customers have not changed company since the freedom was made available. Most energy customers are on the standard tariffs of energy companies which also happen to be the most expensive.
But not content to have the majority of their customers paying top dollar the energy companies want to make sure they continue to do so.
E.on has launched its best one year fix for five years, but it is not available to existing customers.
Customers did not get the benefit of much reduced wholesale prices two years ago because they would take time to work through the system as the companies bought years ahead to avoid shock increases. They have never filtered through to the standard tariffs paid by the majority.
And now E.on, EDF Energy, SSE, British Gas and other companies are making special deals available to the few. They do not want a big take-up. They want us to pay top whack if it is a cold winter. They are looking after their executives and shareholders long before they think of their customers shivering because they cannot afford to turn the heating on.