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Shop around for energy deals, says watchdog

Energy firms are overcharging customers and bills should come down for the vast majority of people, the boss of regulator Ofgem has said. The watchdog’s chief executive, Dermot Nolan, said “we really should be seeing bigger retail cuts” due to falling wholesale energy prices.

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Consumers urged to switch to cheaper energy suppliers

Campaigners are calling on householders to help elderly friends and relatives find cheaper energy deals after finding that almost nine in 10 bill payers did not switch in the last year. The new figure from Ofgem, based on data from household meters, found that 88% of energy customers have not switched in the last year despite widespread advice that doing so can save hundreds of pounds. A separate poll for Big Energy Saving Week, a joint campaign with Energy Saving Trust, Department of Energy and Climate Change and Citizens Advice, found 45% of people did not believe they could save money by switching and 75% of people who did thought it would be £100 or less.

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Energy customers face spectre of price rises for Halloween

Energy customers are facing a potential “Halloween horror” from rocketing bills - as 12 fixed dual fuel deals are due to expire at the end of October. Comparison website GoCompare.com said that households on the deals which are set to end stand to see an average annual increase in their bills of £147.95 or 15.2% if they sit tight and allow themselves to be rolled onto their supplier’s standard variable tariff.

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‘Green’ policies add £60 to energy bills, says think-tank

The Government’s “green” policies have added around £60 to the average consumer energy bill in the last five years, a report has suggested. Energy company profits have added £70 to rising bills, and accounted for around £77 of average household dual fuel costs in 2014, while energy and climate policy costs accounted for £89, the study from think-tank Policy Exchange said. The report called on ministers to maximise efforts to improve household energy efficiency and to focus carbon-cutting efforts on mature technologies such as onshore wind to tackle climate change at least cost to the consumer.

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Energy costs: British Gas to lower household supplies price by 5%

Average annual bills for British Gas customers are set to fall by £35 after the company announced a 5% cut for prices for household gas. The move, which is expected to be followed by the other “Big Six” major energy firms, will come in ahead of the winter and reflects lower costs, according to British Gas managing director Mark Hodges. It comes as National Grid warned it would have to spend more money on putting measures in place to keep the lights on this winter - adding an average extra 50p onto consumer bills - in the face of a worsening energy crunch. The closure of some power stations would have left a spare capacity of just 1.2%, and the company is paying mothballed plants to be on standby and some industries to be ready to power down if needed at times of peak demand.