4 Great Mobile Phone Offers Launched By Carphone Warehouse Online

iPhone 6 16GB:
O2 £32.50 a month
Unlimited minutes & texts
1GB Data
Use code – SMARTSAVE to remove the full £29.99 RRP
[More Info]
iPhone 6 16GB:
Vodafone £29 a month
Unlimited minutes & texts
2GB Data
Was £129.99 upfront now just £59.99
[More Info]
Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB:
O2 £32.50 a month
Unlimited minutes & texts
1GB Data
Was £99.99 upfront and now FREE
[More Info]
Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB:
Vodafone £32.50 a month
Unlimited minutes & texts
2GB Data
Was £99.99 upfront and now FREE

[More Info]

FREE Broadband for 9 months

Fuel Broadband – EXCLUSIVE! Unlimited Fuel Broadband + Calls: FREE for 9 months + Amazon Fire TV Stick! (£5 p/m thereafter, + £16.40 monthly line rental)

Exclusive to broadbandchoices – as seen on TV!
Free Amazon Fire TV stick! (worth £35)
Up to 17Mb broadband
Unlimited usage
Evening & weekend calls to UK landlines included
Free wireless router
Free activation (worth £20)
UK based customer service
FREE for 9 months, £5 per month thereafter (+£16.40 monthly line rental)
Introductory offer available to new Fuel Broadband customers only - 12 month contract

Offer ends 1st September 2015. Further T&Cs apply More Info Here

Unicom fined £200,000

Ofcom has fined Universal Utilities – trading as Unicom – £200,000 for “mis-selling landline telephone services”.


The decision also requires Unicom to take a number of steps to help compensate customers affected by the mis-selling and to guard against it happening again.


Ofcom launched the investigation into Unicom, which provides telephone and broadband services to around 100,000 small businesses, after receiving complaints from customers and having assessed evidence submitted by Unicom in the course of initial enquiries.


The investigation into Unicom is part of Ofcom’s wider monitoring and enforcement programme into the sales and marketing activities of communications providers. Under Ofcom rules, communications providers must give prospective customers accurate information about the services they are providing.


Ofcom’s investigation found that over the period investigated – from 1 March 2013 to 8 July 2014 – Unicom used sales processes that gave some prospective business customers a misleading impression about costs they could face.


Specifically, this related to Unicom giving a misleading impression about the payment of early termination charges if the prospective customer chose to leave their existing communications provider.


Over the same period, Unicom’s sales processes also misled some prospective business customers that transferring their landline telephone service to Unicom would not affect their existing broadband services.


As a result, Unicom has been found in breach of Ofcom rules, which state that providers must not engage in misleading conduct. Ofcom has imposed a fine of £200,000 against Unicom and outlined steps the company must now take.


These include compensating any customers who were misled in the relevant ways during the period investigated, allowing those customers to exit their contract with Unicom penalty-free, and covering the cost of any reconnection charges for those customers where they choose to return to their previous provider.


Ofcom has also demanded that Unicom make all necessary changes to its policies, procedures and marketing and sales materials to ensure it complies with the rules, and provide appropriate training to sales staff and introduce a system to monitor the conduct and compliance of Unicom agents.


British Gas announces reduction in home gas tariffs

British Gas is to cut household gas prices by 5%, cutting an average of £35 off household gas bills.

It is the second gas price drop in six months by BG, and the two price cuts combined will equate to an average total saving of £72 a year

The discounts will take effect from 27 August.

Wholesale gas prices have dropped some 25% since December 2014 and British Gas said the cut reflected lower projected costs for this year and next year.

British Gas announced a price cut of 5% in January following moves by a number of the other "Big Six" energy suppliers.

The reduction should benefit around 6.9 million energy customers either on standard or "fix and fall" tariffs.

Meantime BG say their Electricity prices will remain the same.

Npower offers customers new technology to reduce their energy bills

Npower Business offers customers new technology to reduce their energy bills

Posted: 23 Jun 2015 08:08 AM PDT

Npower Business has today announced that it is the first UK energy supplier to offer energy saving voltage technology optimisation units. These will be available to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) after partnering with UK Company EMSc.

Npower Business say that electricity is supplied at higher voltage than most sites require. The new partnership will see Npower Business customers offered a voltage optimisation unit installed onsite. This will lower the voltage to optimum levels, as well as bringing the businesses energy bills down. It should also extends the life of electrical equipment and reduces carbon emissions.

Designed and manufactured in Sheffield, the Powerstar range of voltage optimisation solutions have been proven to save SMEs between 12- 15% off their energy bills.

Npower Business's SME markets director Philip Scholes said:

"From our own discussions with our customers, we know that they are all looking to get a better handle on their outgoings, reducing them where and wherever possible. Whilst many shrug off energy as a necessary cost, there are almost always ways in which businesses can make greater savings; and voltage optimisation is one of the many tools we can supply our customers to help them to save money."

Dr. Alex Mardapittas, Managing Director of Powerstar added:

"We are proud to be working in partnership with Npower to deliver our multi award winning Powerstar systems to businesses across the UK. All our solutions continue to be manufactured in the UK, as they have been since being established 14 years ago and they all come with a five year guarantee". 

For more on Npower and other business option click here

EU calls for VAT increase on energy efficiency products

 The UK's low rates of VAT on energy efficiency products could be forced to increase as it is in breach of EU laws. This means rather than the 5% on all current energy efficiency items listed below you could soon be charged 20% VAT instead.

Energy Products:

Controls for central heating and hot water systems
Solar panels
Wind turbines
Water turbines
Ground-source heat pumps
Air-source heat pumps
Micro combined heat and power units
Wood-fuelled boilers

This has caused ripples within the government as MPs voice their frustration. Ashley Fox, leader of the UK Conservatives in the European Parliament said the ruling "defies common sense" because the EU's law would shy away more homeowners considering renewable energy which will make it harder for the UK to reach their legally binding targets for reducing carbon emissions.

A standard 4kWp Solar PV system which may cost around £6,000-£8,000 with the current 5% you would usually pay around £300 of VAT, whereas at the EU's 20% you would be paying as much as £1,200 extra! The EU's ruling will not take effect immediately, so we are urging homeowners to get quotes from installers now without the back breaking 20% on top. Otherwise you will be robbing yourself of a potentially greater return on investment.  More...

Ofgem makes 0800 numbers good news again

0800 numbers are FREE for customers to call from a landline but from this July they will be FREE to call from mobiles at last.

Shown to increase inbound call volume, 0800 numbers are a great choice for sales lines and for use on advertising but many callers have avoided them, or business have shunned them, fearing customers wont pay to call them from their mobile phones. From July this will change and the market anticipates 0800 numbers will flourish once again. More info on 0800 options..

05-08 Meters must get smart

Ofgem have demanded that all maximum demand (05 to 08 profile meters) must be “settled” using half hourly data from 1st April 2016.  This means that all of these meters will have to be billed based on actual reads from AMR meters which record the meter usage in half hourly periods.  The impact on the customer bills is not clear at the moment.  It is likely to vary from one supplier to the next depending on how their systems work.

We will keep you updated on developments when we have a clearer view of what will happen.  We know that some suppliers will have to transfer these supplies to be half hourly (profile 00) meters.  Haven Power are the only supplier who has confirmed that this is what they will have to do.  Everyone else has indicated that there will be changes to the charging basis for maximum demand meters.

Gazprom has confirmed that because of this they cannot accept contracts for maximum demand meters where the end date will be after September 2016. Watch this space..

New taxes on UK electric bills

Electricity Market Reform (EMR) Update

Posted: 06 Apr 2015 06:44 AM PDT

The British Government have set out new measures to ensure that the UK's future electricity supply is reliable and will meet targets to reduce carbon emissions whilst minimising the cost, to make it affordable for customers.

The charges associated with EMR are complicated and some suppliers may elect to pass through the costs of the EMR to their business energy customers. These charges took effect at the start of April and will appear on customers bills as of May.

EMR includes Contracts for Difference (CfD) and the Capacity Market (CM). Customers will first see charges relating to these regulatory changes on their bills after May.

Business Energy Customers that will be receiving these charges going forth should have been notified by now. Haven Power have stated that the charges they are supplying will not appear on customers' bills until June 2015, as they have delayed this by a month to ensure the enhancements to their billing systems are thoroughly reliable and extensively tested, ensuring that any problems experienced by customers are kept to a minimum.

The changes for Haven Power will be as follows:

HH Contracts

For HH contracts there will be four new lines on bills under 'Taxes, Levies and Other Statutory Obligations' and they will appear as follows:

CfD Operational Levy xxxxx.x at kWh at x.xxx p per kWh £xx.xx
CfD Interim Rate Levy £00.00
(01/04/2015 - 30/06/2015)
CM Settlement Costs Instalment £00.00
CM Levy £00.00

The CfD Operational Levy covers the operational costs of administrating CfD and is charged at a pence per kWh basis as outlined above and will be reviewed by the relevant regulatory body on an annual basis.

The CfD Interim Rate Levy, CM Settlement Costs Instalments and CM Levy cover the other administration and operational components of CfD and CM. These charges will be subject to reconciliation though they are, at this point in time, set at zero (£0.00). Reconciliation will appear on bills as additional lines in due course.

NHH Contracts

For NHH contracts, there will be one new line on bills under 'Taxes, Levies and Other Statutory Obligations' and it will appear as follows:

EMR Levy xxxxx.x kWh at x.xxx p per kWh £xx.xx

The EMR Levy is calculated as a pence per kWh rate that applies to your consumption and replaces the four lines that will appear on your HH bills representing the administration and operation costs associated with EMR legislation. The EMR Levy will not be reconciled and is designed to cover all CM and CfD costs, simplifying them into one line on bills.

The reformed electricity market will deliver the greener energy and reliable supplies that the country needs. It will transform the UK electricity sector to one in which low-carbon generation can compete with conventional, fossil-fuel generation - ensuring that Britain builds a cleaner, more sustainable energy mix.

Another Solar Panel Tariff Cut

Solar panel installations have met Government targets for the last quarter, triggering another decrease to the Feed-in-Tariff rate - meaning a slight reduction to the financial rewards of solar.

The reduction takes the tariff down to 13.39p/kWh for installations smaller than 4kW (which is usually the maximum for domestic homes).

Although the reduction isn't a huge amount, it does mean that to receive the maximum payments, your panels will need to be installed before April 1st. So if you do gather quotes and prices, and want to beat the tariff cuts, make sure your installer can meet the deadline - there will be a rush for solar panels ahead of the cuts.

Not all energy comparison sites earn £30 for every switch

The big five energy comparison sites have admitted to MP's at a hearing this week that they earn up to £30 in commission every time a customer switches provider and when customers change both electricity and gas accounts.  Some claim they earn up to £60 from the supplier who gets the business in each case. Unlike Moneysupermarket, Uswitch, Confused.com, Comparethemarket and GoCompare we at PowerSwitch.com only get £17 a fuel. It may explains why we have the biggest range and lowest prices and why we stand by our price promise to display  the lowest possible rates on gas and electricity!

Are businesses getting cheaper energy in line with the home consumer?

Great news for energy company customers, right? Npower’s announcement on Friday of a cut in its gas prices means four of the big six energy providers have now promised lower bills since the beginning of the year. Only EDF and Scottish & Southern are still to show their hands.

However, if you’re keeping an eye on the overheads of a small business, don’t get too excited about these reductions: your margins won’t be improving any time soon. More..

Apple Iphone sales go "through the roof"

Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the three months to 27 December - well ahead of most analysts' expectations.
As a result they reported a profit of $18bn (£11.8bn) in its fiscal first quarter, which tops the $15.9bn made by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012, according to Standard and Poor's.
The demand for Apple's larger iPhone 6 Plus model appeared to help boost profits. Check out Apple's latest phones here.

EDF - Last of the "big six" energy suppliers to drop gas prices

EDF says it will cut gas prices by 1.3%, the last of the "big six" energy firms to reduce prices in the wake of a fall in the wholesale price of gas.

The company says the cut, which will come into effect on 11 February, will benefit about one million customers.

Both gas and oil prices have fallen recently as slowing economic growth dented demand.

EDF said if further falls in energy prices allowed, more cuts would be passed on "as soon as possible".