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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
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
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No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

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So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

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Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

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The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

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It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

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