The voice of the energy industry

Energy UK responds to Which? campaign

Which? has today announced the start of its ‘Fair Energy Prices’ campaign where it plans to challenge industry to publish plans by 31 January 2017 detailing how they will engage standard tariff customers and take immediate action this winter to deliver against this plan. Energy UK has issued the following statement to the release. 

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said:

“Over recent weeks‘ Which? and others have challenged energy companies to set out what they will do for consumers ‘stuck’ on standard variable tariffs.

"While we would question whether people are really ‘stuck’ on standard tariffs, the industry is committed to help people benefit from the greatest intensity of competition there has ever been in the energy market.

"In the middle of Big Energy Saving Week, it is important that trusted voices help people realise the benefits of competition and the ease of switching. If people are told continually that they are stuck, we shouldn’t be surprised if they act as if they are stuck. In fact, it has never been easier to switch to a good deal – which in some cases could save households £300 per year.”

If someone wants to move from a standard tariff they can:

  • Get onto their suppliers’ cheapest deal, information about which is on the 100 million bills issued by energy suppliers each year
  • Choose from over 40 suppliers offering hundreds of different tariffs
  • Take 15 minutes to search, choose and switch using online services from Which?, Citizens Advice or 13 Ofgem-accredited price comparison websites.  
  • Take the advice of consumer information campaigns from Government, Ofgem and consumer groups. 

The Competition and Markets Authority’s forensic review lasted two years and while it found no systemic market failure, it did say that not enough people are engaged and that can leave people on more expensive deals than they need to be. The industry is responding and the introduction of the Energy Switch Guarantee is an industry wide initiative to help build confidence in the switching process.

As a result, the CMA and Ofgem, the industry regulator, are introducing a number of major reforms to make it easier for people to get the benefits of a competitive market. In addition, there will be a cap on prices for anyone who uses an energy prepayment meter.

Energy companies are working with Ofgem and others to implement CMA remedies over the coming months. Individual companies will of course do more and we welcome the fact that Which? will highlight what companies are doing and what more could be done.

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