For too long many of us feel that we have been overcharged by the big 6 energy companies and with the never ending complications of trying to switch or understand bills is it any wonder that new research shows we have been overcharged by £1.2 billion a year.
The Competitions Market some time ago began an investigation into this some years ago and we are expecting the results later on this year, with guidelines on what they think should be done.
This doesn’t just affect homeowners either; small businesses have also been found to be overpaying.
Some time ago Ofgem, the regulatory body forced the big 6 to cut down their extensive range of tariffs and offer no more than 4 at any one times, but did this really help?
According to the competitions market no. It is still too complicated for the consumer and doesn’t offer the transparency they would have hoped for.
At a time when millions of people are struggling to make ends meet and turning to unsecured loans and credit cards just to make ends meet, does more need to be done?
21% of people in England have remained loyal to their supplier for the last 10 years, showing a gradual increase comparable to 29% of people Scotland & Wales.
With the switching process still so complicated, is it any wonder that millions do not have the time nor the inclination to go through with it?
If just the big 6 can offer a maximum of 4 tariffs at any one point, how many offers does that still amass for the consumer, taking into consideration the smaller companies that are now starting to get their own foothold on the market? Coupled with the ever changing tariffs it isn’t always in our best interest 4 months later for a deal that we had to sign up to for 2 years.
Along with complex bills that many struggle to understand is it any wonder we shy away from the rigmarole it presents us with.
36% of people still do not know that they can change supplier without any financial penalty to their current tariff.
Small to medium businesses are also badly affected, with many already repaying unsecured loans just to pay bills it is staggering to hear that they have been over paying by some £500 million pounds a year.
The temptation for small businesses is to install solar power, yet leave the old air con unit in place alongside the worn and tired electrics. Savings from solar power can take years to come into fruition, not always meaning it is a cost effective measure.
What we need from the big 6 is not rocket science, it is a clear; concise breakdown of their available tariffs and an explanation of how they benefit us. Not to confuse and scare us if we decide to move.
A simple bill showing what we have used and what we owe, with an easier reclamation for any over payments would finally be the icing on the cake.