The price households pay for their gas and electric is proving to be a problem that won’t go away for the government, no matter how much tough talking they do on the subject.
Our latest data shows increased levels of concern for ever-growing prices. More than half of all people surveyed (56%) thought energy prices should be a key priority for the government – up by 5 percentage points from April.
The highest increase was in the 25 to 34-year-old age group, with the figure increasing by 14 percentage points (from 33% in April to 47% in September). Consumers aged 45 to 54 see energy prices as the biggest issue, with 63% saying the government should make it a key priority, up from 54% before the election.
With these shifts in priorities, it’s worth pausing to consider how we got here. The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) published its final report into the energy market in June 2016, finding that consumers had been ripped-off to the tune of £1.4bn a year due to high prices between 2012 and 2015.
Prices on the rise
Since then, prices have continued to go up. In fact, over the last 10 years bills have risen by more than 40% for gas and 35% for electricity. That’s a considerable chunk of a household budget for a product that, despite innovations in green energy, has more or less remained the same. But, perhaps more pointedly, popular anger reflects the less than satisfactory attempts by Ministers to address this consumer issue.
People are sick of the endless squabble about energy prices and want action now. Ministers say they are prepared to act. The government urgently needs to set out how it will make this broken market work for consumers.
While we’re waiting, the best thing you can do is to keep a close eye on your energy deal and make sure you switch to a good value deal.What do you think the solution is to the broken energy market? How many of you switched since the British Gas price increase was announced in August?
What do you think the solution is to the broken energy market? How many of you switched since the British Gas price increase was announced in August?