We’ve been out-and-about on our UK tour to talk to people about their energy-related concerns. From complex bills to huge price rises – here are some of the things people have told us.
You’ve heard us say this before, but the cost of energy is the number one financial concern for UK consumers.
And because we’re campaigning on behalf of everyone across the UK, we want to make sure we’re not just talking to MPs and companies, but also listening to the real problems people are facing.
One way is to listen to your comments here on Which? Conversation, but another is to go out on the streets and talk to people direct.
So, you might have seen our huge neon pound sign (one MP described it as ‘kryptonite’ – think we should take it as a compliment?) out and about in shopping centres around the country – this is where we’ve be asking for your energy concerns and we’ll continue until 18 March.
Steve asks why price cuts take longer than price rises
‘The fluctuation in wholesale prices – the minute they go up the companies put the prices up.
‘Then they take three, six, nine months and whittle away at the price reduction long after the wholesale price has gone down.’
Geoff thinks energy companies create a fog for you to get lost in
‘When you go on the websites or when you investigate the different tariffs they’re far too confusing. As a consequence of that one tends to give up and accept that you may be £50 per year less well-off.
‘There’s a distinctive lack of clarity in the way the whole system works – the way in which the energy companies seem to create a fog which you get lost in and end up paying more money.’
Gary finds energy bills virtually incomprehensible
‘I’m a qualified chartered accountant and I find the bills virtually incomprehensible.
‘So, could you please try to simplify them so that ordinary people can understand the bills and the basis of charging?’
Nikki finds the energy industry confusing
As for me, I’ve got lots of personal gripes about energy companies – I used to be a serial switcher so I’ve had my fair share of experience. But I think my main worry is that it’s so confusing.
I’ve been with Which? for over a year and worked really closely with the campaigns team on energy issues, and there are still so many things that baffle me and have me running to more knowledgeable colleagues in our team shouting ‘why?! I don’t understand!’
One of the common themes coming out of the events is also the lack of clarity in communication. Not just bills, but tariff information and websites – it all seems quite confusing. And that’s just when they tell you about it – one person issued a plea to her energy company:
‘When you change your tariffs to something cheaper – tell me about it!’
So, how about you? Do you agree with the comments above, or have you got other things you’d like to say to the energy industry?