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

Go-ahead given to develop offshore wind farms

A number of companies were today given the go-ahead to develop new offshore wind farms, potentially paving the way for a massive expansion in renewable energy around the UK's shores.

Ofgem calls for new year cuts to home energy bills

Gas and electricity firms dispute regulator's analysis of profit margins

Questions Of Cash: 'We cannot afford an increase in our fuel bills'

Q. I have had a letter from Southern Electric saying that the "social care energy tariff" that we are on is being removed, so we shall have to pay more. We are classed as low fuel users, because we have been careful, efficient and have conserved energy – and because we can't afford to spend more than we do. Now that is being used against us. Southern Electric uses as its criteria the percentage of income used for fuel. We have phoned repeatedly to challenge this, without success. I would challenge this legally, but I can't afford to. I am 59 and disabled, and my husband is 62 and self- employed and we do not get any working tax credit or housing benefit. My disability allowance goes directly to pay for my motability car. I'm having sleepless nights worrying about how we will pay for the increased fuel costs. GR, Cambridge.

Energy firms 'broke rules designed to protect poor'

Power suppliers accused of exploiting six million users of pre-payment meters

Energy firms to be forced to help the poor

Energy suppliers will be forced to help poor people struggling to pay their fuel bills for the first time under new proposals to be announced this week, The Independent has learnt.

Will carbon dioxide give Miliband the slip?

The minister is backing his nuclear play with a side bet on storing CO2. But Mark Leftly wonders if the untried technology will work

British Gas profits soar – but prices remain high

Consumer groups vent their anger at energy company's £541m profits

Ten new nuclear sites win approval from the Government

Energy minister's policy aims to speed planning process

MPs demand inquiry into great energy 'swindle'

An investigation into claims the "big six" energy suppliers are swindling millions of customers through manipulation of household fuel bills will be demanded by politicians today.

Standard Life finance chief is made new CEO

David Nish appointed after 'global search' by chairman Gerry Grimstone

How do you cut fuel bills before the winter chill sets in? Go online

As competition heats up in the home energy market, finding the best deals can be confusing.

Consuming Issues: Raise a glass to the rise of real ale

Drinkers in London have become wearily familiar with a phenomenon unthinkable even a decade ago: no draught bitter. Gleaming new bars with stainless steel bartops are the worst culprits. A request for Britain's traditional ale is often met with a quizzical look, which occasionally approaches pity. Some pubs, equally egregious in my opinion, serve only "smoothflow" brewery-conditioned bitter rather than the real thing.

Consuming Issues: How to save £600 on gas and electricity

September's sun is a memory and nights are darkening. Households are starting to feel the chill, not only from the cold, but the failure of Britain's big energy suppliers to lower prices. Consumer groups, MPs, the regulator Ofgem, seemingly everyone apart from Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has noticed that what went up last year, our bills, have not come down, despite drastic falls in wholesale prices.

Britain's got talents on the courts (at last)

Five new names enter world's top 100, but search for next Murray goes on

Energy price war masks service woes

As Scottish Power and E.ON release bargain basement deals this week, Simon Read looks at how energy firms are still failing us
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower