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When will the government face its responsibilities on rip-off energy prices?

British Gas price hike

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?

Comments
Guest
bishbut says:
16 September 2017

Some people expect to do EVERYTHING for them ! Thy should learn to do some things for themselves the government cannot do everything that some people expect or demand they do Anything the government does is a very slow process Some want things done immediately at once if not sooner or even before that I agree about energy they can do something but many things are your personal responsibility to do others can only partly help

Guest

Yes< you can do it personally but that still does not stop the greed of the energy companys', there is no question the market has to be controlled as a priority

Guest

I’ve just switched from npower to Scottish Power .

Switching was easy because ScottishPower are members of the Energy Switch Guarantee scheme, so they did all the work for me, including the work of getting npower to play their part in the move .

Hence I do not agree that the energy market is broken.

Guest

I think when people are referring to a broken energy market its because of the greed that prevails in it.

Guest

I’m afraid that, so long as we tend to vote Conservative and tend to want to live in a non-EU capitalist country, we are going to have to accept that ambition and to a certain extent, also greed, are going to be driving factors in our privatised industries.

That having been said, I still do not accept that the existence of greed proves that the market is broken.

Guest

With you on the first paragraph Derek you are just being realistic . The second paragraph depends on how people view the word “broken ” , broken can be fixed in many cases so , in this case it can br fixed but wont be precisely because of your first paragraph.

Guest
bishbut says:
17 September 2017

One terrible supplier to another !

Guest

As I see it, this Convo debate is based on sensationalist, rabble rousing journalism by W?C.

In summary, the header article claims that, prices are “high” and rising – so the market must be broken.

I think that is very poor logic and supported by little or no evidence.

For example, external factors (e.g. falling £ post-Brexit vote) and the costs of building new plant (solar plus on and off-shore wind) to replace still serviceable (but CO2 emission embargoed) coal fired stations may also affect pricing.

Energy prices should reflect generation, transmission and retail costs plus reasonable profits. If unreasonable profits are being taken anywhere, I doubt that it is in the retail sector, where we have about 40 companies competing for our custom – and thus offering cheap (loss leading?) fixed-term tariffs to attract new customers.

An inconvenient truth is that many households still waste a lot a energy, simply via poor standards of construction and insulation or by poor management practices (e.g. heating on but windows open for ventilation, lights and appliances needless left on).

Guest
Peter J. says:
16 September 2017

The whole of the energy supply to this nation is an absolute rip off. What the successive governments have done is remove the generating source from the end user and replaced the direct billing with a costly paper exercise which isn’t benefiting any consumers. The person who thought this stupid situation up must have had an absolute nightmare; that is in fact what has been the result. The mad Thatcher led race to privatisation has resulted in increased costs in every single source including water. Privatisation isn’t the answer. In the main it increases bureaucracy, political meddling, added profit taking, with the inevitable overall increase in costs. It is time to get back to basics across the whole spectrum of domestic and social costs to the nation and take dramatic and radical changes for the benefit of the nations people.