As Ofgem today unveiled an overhaul of energy tariffs, price comparison site uSwitch claims that just one in 10 households are paying the cheapest prices available.
This, says uSwitch director of consumer policy Ann Robinson, proves that consumers are not engaged in the market.
uSwitch said Ofgem’s reform package is long overdue and added that it will “root out the thorny weeds threatening to stifle competition and preventing consumers from entering the market”.
Ms Robinson said: “Ofgem has taken a very sensible line, leaving the threat of a Competition Commission referral hanging while also giving suppliers time to get their houses in order.
“This is absolutely the right approach as a Competition Commission referral at this point, when a huge amount of investment is required in our energy sources and supplies, is not in the interests of consumers or the market.”
She said Ofgem had acknowledged that “the market isn’t working properly for consumers. The fact is that not enough people are using it. Around four in 10 households have never switched energy suppliers and three quarters of people are sitting on standard tariffs.”
She added that previous efforts by Ofgem to bring clarity and transparency to pricing had not worked, and the regulator had taken this “on the chin and has come back out again fighting”.
“Ofgem has finally understood that if it wants consumers to come into the market it has to open the way for them. With its proposals today it is clear this is now what it fully intends to do.”