News

We’ve all been there, wading through the endless phone menus, queues and scripted conversations

Consuming issues: Npower gets my vote for worst company in UK

You probably have your own nomination for Britain's worst company, BP or Santander perhaps, but my money is on npower. Although most big energy firms combine high prices with poor service, npower has distinguished itself by putting in an outstandingly bad performance over the past few years.

Ofgem to investigate big rise in energy profits

A review has been launched into the prices charged by energy suppliers amid claims they are overcharging households.

Industry watchdog to probe energy giants

Britain's energy giants are to be investigated by the industry watchdog after it emerged that recent price hikes have seen suppliers' profit margins soar by 38%.

Electricity bills go up for 2.5m homes

The energy firm Scottish Power is raising gas and elecricity prices by an average of 2 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively. The new charges, which will affect 2.5 million households, will take effect on 25 November, adding about £54 to the average annual dual-fuel energy bill.

Environment: Major projects to tackle climate change escape the knife

Major programmes and projects to tackle climate change under the remit of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) were left largely untouched.

Call for more notice of energy bill rises

Gas and electricity suppliers should be required to give 30 days' warning before putting up prices, the UK energy watchdog said today.

Winter could bring record energy bills. Is it time to switch supplier?

Like it or not the nights are drawing in and winter is on the way. After last year's big freeze many homeowners will be dreading the likely cost of heating their homes this winter, particularly as some providers have started to edge up the cost of gas and electricity. The not-for-profit organisation Home Heat Helpline says 44 per cent of British households are worried about their winter gas and electricity bills. No wonder, with average bills topping the £1,000-a-year mark for the first time.

Coalition turns down heat under energy suppliers

The Coalition Government has shelved plans for an independent inquiry into the £25bn-a-year energy industry amid accusations of profiteering on electricity and gas.

Questions Of Cash: 'Why won't EDF let me transfer my contract?'

Q. I came to the end of a three-year fixed price contract for electricity with EDF on 31 March. I decided to transfer to Scottish Power, which was cheaper. I asked Scottish Power to take over the account from 1 April 2010. But EDF wrote on 18 March stating the transfer was refused because Scottish Power had requested to take my supply before the end of contract period. It appears that because I did not write to EDF 30 days before end of contract to authorise the transfer to Scottish Power they would not allow the transfer and I am now contracted to EDF for another 12 months at their higher prices, unless I pay a £500 termination fee. Scottish Power says it is happy to proceed with the transfer. I am livid. PS, by email.

UK expects to win reprieve on EU emissions plans

Lobbying by Britain looks set to have secured a key concession in EU plans to cut power station emissions due to be voted through the European Parliament this week.

Consuming Issues: It would pay to take more interest in our energy bills

Energy is boring, isn't it? And when topics are dull, people tend to pay less interest and consequently, the opportunity arises for firms to offer them poor value or even to rip them off. Put simply, generally householders show little interest in energy and, so generally, receive poor service and high prices.

Online shopping: your right to return virtually everything

With unemployment still high, it's a wonder more people don't take advantage of the excellent opportunities in online fraud. Why not start a website, advertise fictitious goods and watch the pounds roll in without getting off the sofa; or send out serious "phishing" emails asking for bank details? Ideally, swindlers should be domiciled abroad, where the chance of being caught by the virtual arm of the law is as remote as the physical connection between buyer and seller.

Npower is fourth of 'big six' to cut prices

Only Scottish Power and EDF are still to announce reductions in gas bills

Npower cuts gas prices

Energy firm npower today became the fourth major UK provider to cut gas prices as it announced a reduction of up to 7% in standard bills.

£100bn wind farm plan heralds green energy era

26,400 turbines to wean Britain off its carbon habit
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis