It’s been another autumn of bleak weather and predictable price rises from the big six energy firms.
People have seemingly had it up to here with the broken record refrain of ‘increased wholesale costs’ and bewildering tariffs. Ergo, it seems that more and more households are dispensing with gas or electric heating altogether and go for an old skool wood-burning heater instead, with retailer and birthplace of untold well-intentioned bank holiday DIY disasters B&Q reporting a whopping 200% increase in sales of wood-burning heaters over the past few months.
Laura Nicholson, who holds the esteemed position of B&Q’s buyer of stoves plugged: “The wood burning stove has become a real interiors status symbol. They are not only a greener way to heat a home, they also add atmosphere to a room and can heat a room effectively and can cost less than other forms of fuel.”
But despite all the widespread discontent at the price of energy, it came as a shock to the Money Shot this week to learn that over half of British people are actually overpaying on their bills – to the tune of £1.2billion* because of direct debits. That’s about £80 per household a year.
Anyway, with all this news of wood making a comeback, The Money Shot is waiting patiently for lumberjacking to become a viable career option again. It never wanted to be a personal finance bulletin anyway…
NEWS IN BRIEF
A top suit at the Bank of England suggested that grown adults wearing V is for Vendetta masks, going days unwashed and generally causing a bally nuisance has been good for the banking sector and “morally and intellectually right”. Andrew Haldane, kind of a big deal in the notorious Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England crew, caused several quizzical eyebrows to be raised to full mast by saying that the Occupy movement "helped stir" improvement in financial services.
The total cost of the mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance has hit the £11 billion mark.
Junior ISAs have spectacularly failed to set the world alight, with an uptake of around 72,000 since launching this time last year.
Rumours abound that the 3% rise in fuel duty will be deferred.
E.On has slapped a 1.5% charge on customers who pay bills with credit cards.
ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK
Felicity Hannah looked into the growing problem of female gambling addiction .
Kristian Dando had a look at ways to keep your pets as safe and stress-free as possible during November’s period of explosive skies.
Daniel Bevis rounded up six disparate cars which demonstrate the best of British automotive engineering.
The exotic dancing trade in Swansea has been dealt a blow by the local council’s decision to make the city free of ‘sex entertainment’ venues. This covers lap dancing, pole dancing, table dancing, strip shows, peep shows and live sex shows.
However, The Money Shot’s sources in West Wales assured us not to worry – if one heads out to the city’s happening Wind Street area on a Friday night, they can be treated to a comparable level of flesh on display, absolutely free of charge.
*The £1.2bn figure is based on the average credit balance of £80 multiplied by the 55% of 26.3 million households in the UK (ONS 2011) who say they have an overpaid utility bill. 55% of 26.3m = 14.5m households. £80 x 14.5m = £1.2bn.