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Energy firms overcharging customers, says Ofgem

Last week, Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said that for the majority of domestic customers, gas and electricity prices should be cheaper. Wholesale energy costs have fallen a third in the last year or so and make up nearly half of a domestic bill, but prices have not fallen. The major energy companies countered that there is a competitive market of more than thirty suppliers and that customers should switch for savings of hundreds of pounds. Yet in the 14 years since the removal of retail price controls , 30% of electricity meter points and 18% of gas meter points have never been switched to a new supplier.

And so it was timely for PTCS to be invited to work with the Smarter Switching team at Ofgem earlier this month as they examined the challenge ahead. Their ambition is to deliver new reliable and fast switching arrangements reducing real or perceived switching costs and increasing consumer engagement. Specifically they want consumers to be able to switch the next day.

It was a pleasure to meet and work with the talented people taking forward this policy. Genuine competition among suppliers can only lead to innovation, better service and pressure on prices that will benefit domestic consumers so we wish the Smarter Switching team well with the complex challenge ahead.


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