I had a letter from E.ON this morning. I opened it thinking it might be a bill. Instead, it was a letter with the heading “We’re putting our prices up in 2013”. That’s quite an opening gambit.
I was, as it happens, quite impressed with this, so I thought I’d give it a read. In the second paragraph (which carried the sub-title “A change to the way we charge you”), this wording caught my eye:
“We’re also charging the way we charge you and introducing a standing charge. This means you’ll pay a fixed amount for your connection, plus an amount for the power you actually use. So it will be easier to see what your energy bill covers.”
Easier. Yes, it will be much easier. After all, when the utility companies all got rid of standing charges a few years ago, it was to make our bills more difficult to understand. No wait, that’s not right.
Leaving aside the pressure on the utility companies to come up with some kind of vague pretence at competition, it seems to me that taking the decision to clutter the minds of your consumers by introducing a fixed charge element is a step so totally contrary to the current tide towards simplicity that frankly it can only be applauded.
In the way you might applaud when you see the fate of the tennis streaker.
Still, at least they’re being transparent. That’s got to count for something.