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02 January 2013

One in five (19%) find the choice of energy tariffs so bewildering that they stay with existing supplier

Commenting on Ofgem’s energy tariff reforms, which take effect from today, Jeremy Cryer,’s energy spokesperson, said:

“Rising gas and electricity prices were a major concern for British households towards the end of 2013 and will continue to be a top priority item for both consumers and politicians this year. The regulator has a huge part to play, and Ofgem’s move to ban complex tiered tariffs will certainly make it easier for energy customers to understand what they are paying for. Likewise, limiting the number of tariffs that providers can offer to four for each fuel could also help encourage people to reengage with the energy market, which is something they have been put off from doing in recent years, with research we carried out recently showing that one in five (19%) people found the choice of energy tariffs so bewildering that they decided to stay with their existing supplier.*

“Restricting the number of discounts that can be applied to two – dual fuel and online account management – makes things simpler, but it doesn’t help those who aren’t internet savvy, for example many elderly people, as they can’t benefit from energy suppliers’ online deals and will continue to pay much more for their gas and electricity than they need to.

“While the regulator and the government all have a big responsibility when it comes to simplifying the energy market and controlling the effect of price rises on households, but people also need to take control of their outgoings, and comparing energy tariffs with a comparison site takes a matter of minutes, and can result in savings of up to £309 a year.**”


Notes to editors:

*Based on research commissioned by and carried out by Consumer Intelligence on 13 and 14 December 2013 with 2,042 UK adults who are customers of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers (British Gas, ScottishPower, E.ON, npower, EDF, and SSE).

**Based on customers who switched energy supplier for both gas and electricity (dual fuel) using the Energylinx powered platforms during the 1st July - 30th September 2013. At least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with saved £309.05 or more.