Energy watchdog Ofgem has revealed that it’s to consider breaking up the Big Six gas and electricity companies and will investigate energy price hikes – and Which? says reform can’t come soon enough.
In its March 2011 Retail Market Review, Ofgem lists product and price complexity as one of the major issues affecting the energy market.
Announcements today show Ofgem is focused on offering consumers greater competition and choice, simplifying tariffs and challenging energy companies over price hikes.
Rising energy prices
In a recent survey, 89% of consumers told us that rising energy prices are their number one concern. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says: ‘This additional scrutiny from Ofgem is welcome. Reform can’t come soon enough for people already struggling with their energy bills.
‘The Big Six energy companies have failed to prove that price increases are fair, so we support Ofgem’s efforts to scrutinise price hikes across the board. Only then will we know if customers are really getting a fair deal.’
Which? has been campaigning, along with other consumer groups and charities, for Ofgem to issue a radical overhaul of the retail energy market. We think that all energy tariffs should be structured in the same way so that people can compare them at a glance.
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 Which? Action on Twitter or facebook.
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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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