Simon Read: Which? proposal is a big incentive for energy suppliers to raise their game

 

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The Independent Online

Surprise, surprise, we don't trust energy companies. Why? Apart from ever-rising prices and shoddy service, there have been many cases of mis-selling in recent times and plenty of examples of what seems to be deliberately confusing pricing – designed to ensure that only the most dedicated customers can track down the best deals.

The consumer group Which? asked people whether they trust their gas and electricity supplier and the answer was a resounding "no". In fact the figures revealed that only one in five people trust suppliers to charge a fair price for their energy, while more than half say it's difficult to compare the prices of different energy deals.

Meanwhile, just one in six trust energy firms to act in our best interests, and only a quarter reckon their supplier is good at offering them a fair price.

The results have persuaded the consumer group that consumers need a credible, independent benchmark – a "price to beat". It wants energy suppliers to compete against this price, which would be set and regularly updated by the energy market regulator.

Anything that makes it easier for us to find a fair price for energy is to be applauded. The proposal has already been supported by one of the "big six" energy giants. EDF Energy bigwig Béatrice Bigois said: "Which?'s proposals are constructive and should be seriously considered by policymakers."

I agree and would welcome other energy suppliers supporting the proposal and putting pressure on policymakers to make that happen.

s.read@independent.co.uk

twitter: @simonnread

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