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24 March 2011
This paper was presented to the 18th Center for Research in Regulated Industries Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics in June 2010 Porvoo, Finland. The paper attempts to understand whether competition in postal markets can ultimately benefit small consumers and if so how and under what circumstances.
18 March 2011
We are concerned that micro-business consumers may be suffering due to the way some third party intermediaries (TPIs) use their information advantage when striking supply contracts. We believe there are two major areas of concern: Micro-business consumers are being committed to contracts that are not best-suited to their needs, because the TPI’s prices and terms [...]
17 March 2011
This report examines the potential impact of the Green Deal: looking at different consumer groups and property types, and considers the benefits both for individual householders and national policy goals for fuel poverty and CO2 emission reductions.
16 March 2011
Consumer confidence in the energy and housing markets and in home maintenance services is lower than other markets. Our research shows consumers have lost trust in authority and are influenced the most by the media and by friends and family. They believe they have limited impact on climate change, and tend to reduce energy bills [...]
5 March 2011
There has never been a greater need for the interests of consumers to be effectively represented. Vital and urgent plans to modernise the national infrastructure for energy, water, rail, communications and airports require some £200 billion of private sector investment by 2016 – the equivalent of building more than four Olympics every year. These costs [...]
4 March 2011
Research by Consumer Focus in early 2010 found that 35 per cent of consumers did not understand their energy bills. There has also been a large amount of research into consumers’ use of their energy bills by organisations such as Which?, the Energy Saving Trust, Ofgem and various price comparison websites. Conclusions are broadly similar; [...]
Opening the door – Examining the potential for reputational regulation of private rented sector landlords
26 February 2011
Signing up to a tenancy agreement with a landlord is a significant commitment for the majority of private tenants. However, tenants currently do not have access to information on the track record or performance of a landlord to help them make an informed decision before they make this commitment. A survey into consumer perceptions of [...]
23 February 2011
The Government intends to introduce a new Warm Home Discount scheme in April 2011 to tackle fuel poverty. Energy companies will be required to provide a discount on electricity bills to a ‘core group’ of low income pensioners. Suppliers will also be required to provide the same discount to a ‘broader group’ although they will [...]
17 February 2011
We asked consumers how information on energy efficiency informs their actions in the property market – before and after buying or renting a home. We wanted to know whether consumers receive the information and what impact it has. This information helps us understand where improvements are needed in the development of the Green Deal, to [...]
25 January 2011
Consumer Focus welcomes the Independent Review of IP and Growth on how the Intellectual Property (IP) framework supports economic growth and innovation. The review focuses on competition issues and acknowledges that IP law can obstruct the use of emerging technologies and may discourage established businesses from adapting to change. Recognising that the relationship between IP [...]