Energy companies 'failing customers'

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  • | by Kristian Dando

Energy industry watchdog Ofgem has demanded a major shake-up of Britain’s energy suppliers, hitting out at their “complex and unfair” pricing.

A simplification of pricing structures, along with a breaking-up of the power wielded by the so-called ‘big six’ energy suppliers is at the top of the organisation’s recommendations.

“Consumers have told us that energy suppliers’ prices are too complicated,” said Lord Mogg, chairman of Ofgem. “It is no surprise that they are bamboozled when tariff complexity has increased from 180 to more than 300 since 2008. That is why we are planning to sweep away this complexity so suppliers’ prices are fully exposed to allow easy price comparisons.”

The complexity of pricing has left around 60 per cent of customers disenfranchised with the market place, and failing to shop around for the best deals.

Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: “Energy companies have failed to play it straight with consumers and so Ofgem is proposing to break the stranglehold the Big Six have over the electricity market by making them auction up to 20 per cent of their generation output. This would increase price transparency and make it easier for new players to enter the retail market."