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Spend & Save

Energy companies are too concerned with profits, say British consumers

Britons feel that energy companies are working against their interests and have no understanding of the financial difficulties people face, a survey from Energyhelpline.com suggests.

Almost nine out of 10 (88 per cent) of Britons think their provider does not care about their needs and six out of 10 (59 per cent) also say they are worried about winter heating bills as the cold weather bites across the country.

"There is a widespread public perception that the privatised energy market is not working for consumers and that suppliers sadly seem to prioritise profits over customers.Yes, there have been moves to reduce the number of confusing tariffs and complex terminology used in bills, but there is still a long way to go before providers can restore their battered reputations," Mark Todd, the director of the independent price comparison service, said.

The survey found that those in East Anglia and Wales felt their energy company cared the least – with 95 per cent expressing this sentiment. Those in the South-east of England were the most worried about winter fuel bills (66 per cent) followed by those in the North-west of England (64 per cent).

But, there was some good news for energy customers. OVO energy is to cut tarrifs by 5 per cent. "This will be welcomed by consumers. The average customer bill is up by 14 per cent since last summer," said Audrey Gallacher, the director of energy at industry watchdog Consumer Focus.