The time has come. After two years investigating, the Competition and Markets Authority has given its final verdict on the energy market. The million dollar question is; will the CMA’s proposals deliver fairer energy prices?
We’ve been urging the CMA to take a hold of the energy market and deliver changes that would finally fix an industry that sees millions paying over the odds.
We’re backed by more than 360,000 of you, and so last week we sent a dossier to the regulator rounding up the views of those affected by high energy prices. People like Gemma:
‘Everybody should be able to keep themselves warm – it’s awful in this day and age that the vulnerable and those on low incomes can’t afford to properly heat their homes.’
At the same time we asked you if you were confident that the CMA would deliver fair energy prices. An impressive 11,000 of you voted, and only 7% of you said ‘yes’. A resounding 76% said ‘no’.
The regulator certainly had a lot to live up to, so how has it done?
The CMA’s proposals for the energy market
The CMA points out that 70% of the Big Six’s customers are on the most expensive standard deal, adding that customers are paying £1.7bn a year more than if there was a competitive energy market.
So here are some of the proposals the CMA has set out to resolve this:
- An Ofgem-controlled database of customers who’ve been stuck on their supplier’s default standard tariff for more than three years, allowing rivals to contact them with better deals. This will be subject to strict safeguards on communication so that you can opt out at any time.
- A temporary price cap to protect the four million vulnerable customers on prepayment meters, which would reduce their bills by a total of £300m a year.
- Strengthening the ability and incentives for price comparison sites to help customers find better deals by giving them access to relevant information like customer meter numbers and allowing them to negotiate exclusive deals with suppliers.
- Removing the four tariff rule, which the CMA says limits competition and innovation, and therefore allowing suppliers to offer deals designed for certain customer groups.
Our verdict on the CMA’s proposals
It’s certainly right to ensure that vulnerable customers on pre-payment meters are protected, but there are lots of customers who are struggling to pay their bills who won’t be helped by this price cap.
There’s still clearly a long way to go before we’ll have an energy market working for all of us. It’s now time for the energy suppliers to stop resisting change and start working harder, and together, to restore trust in the energy market.
Your verdict on the CMA’s announcements
Now we want to hear from you. Are you pleased with the proposals announced by the CMA? Are they what’s needed to reform the energy market? Do you think they’ll make a difference to you and your family? Vote in our poll and then share your more detailed views in the comments below.
Do you think the CMA’s proposals are enough to fix the broken energy market?
No (92%, 25,741 Votes)
Don’t know (4%, 1,188 Votes)
Yes (4%, 1,016 Votes)
Total Voters: 27,945