Energy prices 'should be more transparent'Consumers want clearer energy pricing

09 July 2010

Couple looking at their energy bill

You could save hundreds of pounds on your energy bill by switching supplier

A Which? report reveals nine in 10 people want greater transparency around the calculation of energy prices.

Our research also found that four in five people (83%) think there should be a Bank of England-style base rate for energy prices so they can compare their energy tariff and see whether they're getting a good deal.

If you're not sure whether you're getting the best value from your energy supplier, use the Which? Switch energy comparison service to see how much you could save by switching gas and electricity companies.

Energy base rate?

Which? warns that introducing an energy base rate would be of little use without greater clarity over how wholesale prices are set. Pricing is a particular concern when it comes to 'vertically-integrated' energy suppliers that generate their own energy and then sell it on to individual customers.

Which? wants energy industry regulator Ofgem to be able to scrutinise how these vertically-integrated energy suppliers pass on generation costs to consumers.

Competition in the energy market means you can shop around to get a better deal from a supplier. 

Clearer gas and electricity costs

Which? is also calling for transparent energy prices, with an end to unsubstantiated claims about the link between wholesale and retail prices and a moratorium on tracker tariffs.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: 'Energy suppliers are always quick to blame wholesale prices for rising bills but it’s all but impossible for an ordinary consumer to find out if such claims are true.

'Greater transparency over how retail prices are calculated is needed if people are to believe that they’re paying a fair price for their energy.'

With just one in five consumers considering energy suppliers to be trustworthy, greater transparency is vital if people are to be convinced they are paying a fair price for their energy.

The Which? Switch energy satisfaction survey has customer satisfaction scores for major companies including British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower and Scottish Power. Have a look at our customer satisfaction survey results to see how energy suppliers compare and how they were rated for bills, value, customer service and support.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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