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Since gas deregulation in 1993, followed by the electricity industry in 1998, consumers have been able to buy their gas and electricity from a number of different suppliers.

Energy
Deregulation

Consumers will have seen little difference between the gas and electricity supplied by companies. Therefore the only way that a supplier can attract customers is by keen pricing, appealing to their green credentials or by offering exemplary customer service, although the main reason for change would be price.

To protect consumers, the industry regulator OFGEM (The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) has promoted competition between those gas and electricity suppliers while regulating the monopoly companies that run the gas and electricity networks. Greater choice and therefore greater competition has ensured cheaper gas and electricity prices as the energy companies cut their costs and introduce innovative new schemes to attract and retain customers.

Consumer Supplies

Different consumers benefit from different structures. Some companies supply gas or electricity with a high fixed charge and a lower unit rate, others have no fixed charge and a higher rate. There is generally no one single company which is best for all consumers. CESC have the knowledge and experience to choose the correct one.

Many commercial organisations often simply accept an existing service supplier’s terms when they take over commercial premises, or lack the knowledge of supply side contracts to ask the right questions and to make effective comparisons. In the case of Small & Medium Enterprises (SME), contracts are often set up by landlords and passed on, making the prospect for change more difficult.

Britain faces energy gap

Britain is facing a shortfall in energy supply and within a decade, the country may be generating only about 80% of the electricity it needs. The immediate issue is the impending closure of most British nuclear power stations and many coal-fired units.

By 2015, all Magnox nuclear stations still operating will have shut down, as will most of the stations running Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs). Under the European Large Combustion Plant Directive, many of the nation's coal-fired plants will also close in the next decade.


In principle, the gap could be bridged by new power stations burning gas or coal; but this would work against the government's short term targets and long term aspirations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The gap will therefore almost certainly have to be bridged by building new reactors, if the government is to fulfil its long term ambitions on climate change.

Smart
Meters

Smart Meters and Smart Grids. What will this really mean for customers, suppliers and governments.

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets regulates the energy markets in Great Britain