Water and sewerage bills set to fall by about £17 a year
Water UK, the industry trade body, said the average annual bill would fall by 4% to £396.60 from 1 April. Regulator Ofwat said the drop was because it had demanded efficiency from firms. In December it told the water companies they would have to cut the average customer bill by £50 over the next 5 years.
Water UK said that there would also be more help for vulnerable customers between 2020 and 2025. Help could include introducing social tariffs, discounts for those on lower incomes or receiving benefits, or assisting charities that provide help.
Ofgem reduces energy price caps with effect April 2020
The default price cap will become £1,162, from £1,179 for the period April 2020 – September 2020, whilst the pre-paypayment meter cap will be £1,200, from £1,217. The cap applies to tariffs for all customers on standard variable and default energy tariffs.
Ofgem will review this year whether there is still a need for a default price cap or whether it can be lifted.
Cheaper mortgages for customers who go green
Nationwide is the first big mortgage lender to offer customers reduced rate “green” mortgages and loans for eco home improvements. Improvements that could qualify include insulation, solar panels, a new eco friendly boiler, biomass heating or an electric charging point.
Homebuyers who purchase a new build with a grade A energy performance certificate can apply for a special preferential rate “green” mortgage.
Warning to insurance claimants to use the correct contact number for their insurer
Websites are paying online search engines to appear at the top of their rankings when drivers search for their insurer’s details e.g. after a crash. Drivers call the numbers on the advert and assume it is their insurer, but in fact they are put through to a claims management firm who may pass them onto to another firm to organise a replacement car. Callers mistakenly believe the courtesy car is being paid for by their insurer, when in fact they are liable for hire costs. Last year the Insurance Fraud Bureau received more than 300 reports in relation to online adverts that appeared to falsely represent genuine insurers.