Electricity free-for-all promises 10% off bills
Friday 14 August 1998
Domestic competition will be launched on 14 September in 13 towns spread across four regions of the country. Initially, 10 per cent of households in each region will be able to switch supplier, with the remainder of the area opened up to competition over a six-month period.
The full roll-out of competition to all 26 million domestic and small business users will not be completed until next June - 15 months later than originally planned. The cost of the exercise will be pounds 726m, or pounds 33 for every household.
The first four areas to be opened to competition next month will be the regions covered by Eastern Electricity, Manweb, ScottishPower and Yorkshire Electricity. However, Seeboard has missed being included in the opening phase because of delays with its computer systems.
British Gas, which has been waiting for two years to attack the electricity market, said it had already signed up 300,000 customers while a further 1.5 million had registered their interest in buying electricity from it.
The domestic gas market began being opened up to competition in 1996. According to figures released yesterday by Ofgas, more than 3 million customers have deserted British Gas since then, tempted by offers of up to 20 per cent off their bills from rival suppliers.
The price cuts in electricity are expected to be more modest with bills falling by between 5 and 10 per cent at most. The take-up is also expected to be more gradual, with around 5 per cent of households forecast to switch supplier compared with 15 per cent for gas.
Electricity suppliers have been fined for the delays in introducing competition, but a committee of MPs said last month that the level of penalties was inadequate.
The towns where competition will be introduced on 14 September are: Norwich, Fakenham, Lowestoft and Cromer (Eastern Electricity); Chester, Mold and Holywell (Manweb); Motherwell, Aidrie and Lanark (ScottishPower); Hull, Hornsea and Beverley (Yorkshire).
Outlook, this page
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
iJobs Money & Business
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...
£50000 - £55000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Relationship M...
Highly Attractive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - BRILLIANT FIRM - You wil...