As Ofgem considers the responses to its review of the energy market, Which? is urging the regulator to make energy tariffs easier to compare.
Ofgem’s Retail Market Review, released in March 2011, listed product and price complexity as one of the major issues affecting the energy market.
As Ofgem considers the responses to its review, Which? is calling for them to address this problem by making tariffs simpler. If consumers can’t understand their energy tariff, they can’t be expected to switch easily. Simpler tariffs will make life easier for consumers and encourage competition amongst the energy companies.
Simplify energy tariffs
Energy companies offer a huge range of tariffs for consumers depending on their method of payment, how they manage their account and many other variables. Although this gives the consumer more choice, Which? research suggests that most customers would prefer to have a consistent deal.
Research conducted by Which? in April 2011 found that consumers that haven’t switched in the last year consider consistency of tariffs much more important than a large number of tariffs.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, says:
‘Customers that haven’t switched want to be able to easily compare different deals, not be overwhelmed by large numbers of tariffs that are difficult or impossible to compare. We think that all energy tariffs should be structured in the same way so that for the first time, people will be able to see at a glance which one is most suitable for them.’
‘The Ofgem review is the second in the past three years to find that the energy market does not work for consumers. People are already struggling with rising bills, so energy companies must stop bamboozling customers with vast numbers of tariffs.’
Working for you on clear tariffs
We’re calling for much clearer tariffs for consumers, which will include a fixed cost for supplying the energy then a unit price depending on how much the consumer uses. This means an end to confusing deals, and consumers will be able to tell at a glance whether the price they’ll be paying is cheaper with one company than another.
If you’d like to join in with our campaign for simpler energy tariffs, email your MP to ask for their support.
Which? Energy campaigns
Which? campaigns to make people’s lives fairer, simpler and safer. We’re currently campaigning on energy issues such as the Green Deal, confusing energy tariffs, and smart meters. To find out more about our campaigns, follow WhichAction on Twitter or facebook.