Energy companies are being accused of overcharging customers, with bills failing to match dropping wholesale energy costs. With the ‘hidden commission’ of around £60 per dual fuel deal that is paid to the switching sites when people move supplier, customers are facing a dilemma.
David Hunter, an energy industry analyst with Schneider Electric, comments:
Energy customers are caught between the hammer and anvil
“With the exception of British Gas, the UK’s big six have kept electricity and gas tariffs stagnant for two years. Ofgem has called out suppliers for overcharging customers. However, its suspension of ‘supply market indicators’ that revealed supplier margins every fortnight, means the big six are getting windfalls from the wholesale price drop under the radar.
“Households have been prompted to find energy cost savings by shopping around for better prices. However, hidden commissions on comparison sites of £60 per dual fuel deal mean customers are being caught between the hammer and anvil. Energy cost transparency is absolutely key to instigating a change in the market and fairer energy pricing.
Pass the savings through to customers
“Fuel prices on the other hand have fallen sharply as a direct result of the drop in crude oil value – the lowest it’s been in twelve years. These savings have largely been passed through to customers. Yet the same hasn’t happened for network energy.“Fuel costs aren’t going to stay low forever, but if energy suppliers can’t reduce their prices now, when can they? We’ve enjoyed a mild winter so customers have used less gas than expected but the cold weather is setting in and the UK is going to feel the pinch.”