Commenting on npower’s price rise of 8.8% for gas and 9.1% for electricity, Trisha McAuley, Deputy Director at Consumer Focus Scotland, said:
‘Two price hikes on the same day will just reinforce the views and prejudices of consumers – whether justified or not – about a lack of transparency and competitiveness in the market.
‘People are not convinced that they are getting a fair deal. Unless they can be reassured about the relationship between costs, prices and profits, consumer distrust will continue, companies won’t get their message across, and the success of the regulator will be questioned. Consumers need to see the Government and regulator taking big steps to help mitigate the rising cost of energy for customers.’
- From next year an average of £4 billion will be taken from consumer bills in the form of carbon taxes. Using a proportion of that revenue to fund a much more ambitious energy efficiency programme could start to tackle fuel poverty and provide a jump start to our energy efficiency industry. See the Energy Bill Revolution for more details.
- Consumers do not know whether they can believe the relationship between energy prices, company profits and the wholesale price of energy. Greater transparency is vital to know whether there is scope for companies to avoid these sorts of price rises.
- Despite recent action from Ofgem and suppliers, the industry still makes it too difficult for consumers to take the simple actions that could save them money. The market must become less complex and less confusing otherwise consumers will not have the confidence to take action.