Watchdog Lays Out Plan for Reducing Household Energy Bills Across the UK

March 11, 2016

An influential watchdog has published a report outlining a variety of ways in which household energy bills could be reduced across the UK.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded that many thousands of British households have been consistently overpaying for their energy supplies and ought to see them reduced in future months and years.

Among the measures proposed by the competition watchdog is temporary price controls designed to ensure that people who use prepayment energy meters in their homes don’t pay excessively high amounts each year to cover their gas and electricity supplies.

There are currently thousands of households around the UK that pay what the CMA deems to be uncompetitive prices because they have prepayment meters installed.

According to the authority, temporary safeguard measures to protect these meter users would see their energy bills come down collectively by as much as £300 million a year.

Another of the watchdog’s proposals is for a database to be established that lists every UK energy consumer who has been on a standard tariff for three years or more.

The database could then be made available to energy companies who could use it to target their marketing efforts at people who they know are paying more for their gas and electricity supplies than they need to.

“We have found that the six largest suppliers have learned to take many of their existing domestic customers – some 70 per cent of whom are on ‘default’ standard variable tariffs – for granted, not just over prices, but with their service and quality,” said Roger Witcomb, chairman of the CMA’s energy market investigation.

“Yet in those parts of the retail markets where competition is working, customers are benefiting to the tune of hundreds of pounds a year by switching.

“We’re proposing a wide range of bold, innovative measures to enable competition to grow further across the market so that millions more households will benefit.”

Energy bill arrears have become a common source of problem debt in many households throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK in recent years.

If you are having difficulty paying off your monthly bills and managing your debts effectively then Scotland Debt Solutions may be able to help. Call one of our experts today to find out more.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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