Some 50% of people will never switch energy providers regardless of incentives and information.
That’s the view of Martin Lewis, founder of consumer help site moneysavingexpert.com, who told ELN there will always be a section of the public who won’t move supplier because they simply don’t want the hassle.
He said : “What you’ve got is a split market. You’ve got the 50% that may switch, are willing to switch and are active to switch. And then you’ve got the other people who are going to stick with their incumbent supplier. How you deal with the other 50% is a real problem.
“[For them] it’s too much hassle, I don’t understand it, I’m safe with where I am. They don’t want to move and I don’t know how you crack that ultimately in a market economy. I don’t think you can.”
Mr Lewis was speaking from his offices where yesterday Ed Davey launched new incentives for energy efficiency and stated the government’s desire to increase switching rates.
But according to the financial guru these measures may not work in the current market unless we rethink what energy really is.
He added: “What I don’t think politicians or the big picture society has made its mind up on yet is, ‘is energy a public good?’ and I think that’s the biggest issue we have. If energy is a public good we need fundamentally regulated pricing.
“If you have market competition that will always mean some people pay less than other people and then what we get is reports from the CMA coming out saying vulnerable customers are paying more than others. Well of course that’s what a competitive market is about.
“So there’s a real disjoin in society about what people want and how they perceive energy. And I don’t think anyone has yet got a handle on it.”