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Complex energy tariff choice ‘confuses consumers’

Difficult for customers to find the best deal

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Consumer watchdog Consumer Focus is calling for an investigation into the way energy suppliers sell and market energy tariffs.

It makes the call in a letter to energy regulator Ofgem, which recently revealed research showing that 70% of people find the number of energy tariffs available confusing, and more than 50% find it too difficult to work out whether they would make any saving if they switched supplier.

In fact, more than one fifth of those that do switch their tariff or energy supplier actually end up paying more. If you’re unsure how to switch energy company, or are switching for the first time, read our guide to switching suppliers.

Overwhelming choice of tariffs available

The ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers alone offer 110 different tariffs, and these include a variety of billing periods, single or dual fuel options, and rates that can include or exclude a standing charge – making it very difficult for consumers to work out which is the best tariff for them overall.

Which? is also campaigning for an end to the energy tariff lottery and for the introduction of minimum standards for energy tariffs, to help consumers find the best deal.

A recent survey by the European Commission showed that 60% of consumers would be better off switching energy tariff, but the majority of us are failing to take advantage of the savings offered by shopping around.

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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