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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine