Energy bills have risen by a shocking 73% in the last decade according to exclusive analysis by consumer group Which? – an average increase in annual bills of around £580 per household.
With annual bills approaching £1,400, Which? is calling for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to set out how it will shake up the energy market when it reports the findings of a year-long investigation later this month.
Spending on energy rose from 2% of household budgets in 2004 to 4% a decade later. Which? figures also show that sky high energy prices are our biggest concern, with two-thirds of people worried about the size of their bills. Three-quarters of households are on pricey standard tariffs, often hundreds of pounds more expensive.
But switching rates are only one part of the problem. Making it easier to switch won’t help people to find the best deal in a complex market that is not set up to work in their interests.
People should be confident they’re paying a fair price for their energy, so Which? is calling for simple pricing, like you see on a petrol forecourt, so consumers know they are making the right choice when they switch suppliers. The consumer champion is also calling for a price to beat, to act as a benchmark so anyone stuck on an expensive tariff is protected even if they don’t switch.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
“There’s no doubt that the energy system is failing consumers and needs a shake-up. Just one in five of us trust energy suppliers to charge us a fair price. The CMA has a great chance to fix things but must be brave, and not shy away from tough decisions that show it’s on the side of consumers.”
More than 200,000 people have backed Which?’s Fair Energy Prices campaign calling for the CMA to take action on energy prices and make bills fairer.