Our energy market is broken. We don’t know if the price we pay for our energy is fair, trust in energy companies is at a disastrously low level and bills are rising sharply every year. It’s about time we fixed things.
Energy companies received more than 5.5 million complaints in 2013. That’s more than 15,000 complaints every single day, on everything from bills to switching.
That’s why today we’re demanding six fixes for the energy market with our new Fix the Big Six campaign:
- FIX NO.1. Increase competition
- FIX NO.2. Transparent trading
- FIX NO.3. People power
- FIX NO.4. Cost control
- FIX NO.5. Customer trust
- FIX NO.6. Warmer homes
Ultimately, we think the Competition and Markets Authority needs to conduct a full scale competition inquiry to really get to the heart of the matter.
We don’t think the energy companies should be able to buy and sell energy to themselves, behind closed doors, without any of the light that a functioning market would shed on them. More energy should be traded on open, transparent markets where everyone can see what the actual prices are.
Low trust in energy companies
Aside from wholesale energy costs, more can be done to cut unnecessary costs on your bills that come from government levies. The £50 off energy bills announced following our ‘Cut them down, George’ campaign was a step in the right direction – but only that, a step. The government should look again at carbon taxes, the smart meter roll-out and more – value for money for customers must be the overriding concern.
We want to see a change in culture. Our satisfaction survey, published last month, shows that the Big Six aren’t delivering for their customers. Despite accounting for 98% of the market, none of them ranked above ninth place our survey.
Plus, just one in five trust their provider – that has to change. Concerns recently raised about charging for non-Direct Debit payments, and about companies holding on to hundreds of pounds of customers’ money, just add further weight to this argument. The companies should also be doing more to help you find a better deal with simpler pricing and swifter switching.
A better deal from the Big Six
Finally, we want to see the Government commit to an overhaul of the flagging Green Deal policy. A year after it launched there’s still little understanding of why consumer interest is so low – the Government must review why this is and set out recommendations to improve the product. For example, we want to see companies prevented from charging large fees if a customer wants to pay the balance of their Green Deal loan early.
We need your help to show that this market is broken and we want it fixed. The ongoing regulators’ examination of the energy market is an opportunity for radical action and real change for the benefit of you and me. Have you been dealt a poor hand by your energy company in the past? Tell us about it – and if you want a better deal in the future, sign our Fix the Big Six petition.