Consumer Focus says Ofgem must act on bills

Consumer Focus have responded to E.ON’s announcement of price rises today by saying customers need protecting. With an 18.1% rise for gas and11.4% for electricity, E.ON is the fourth of […]

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By Sumit Bose

Consumer Focus have responded to E.ON’s announcement of price rises today by saying customers need protecting. With an 18.1% rise for gas and11.4% for electricity, E.ON is the fourth of the big six to announce huge hikes in bills.

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Focus said: “Yet another price rise will leave the average energy bill weighing in at £1250 a year. Customers need to know whether these increases are warranted. Customers will feel they didn’t get the benefit when wholesale costs were low. Wholesale costs are around a third lower than their 2008 peak yet consumer prices have reached an all-time high.”

Mr O’Connor added it was time for Ofgem to act: “Ofgem has said it is prepared to refer the energy market to the Competition Commission if necessary. That is welcome but the regulator must be prepared to act if it can’t say for certain whether prices are fair.”

Consumer Focus believes a number of measures are necessary to reform the energy market including; a competition review of the structure of the energy market and moves to improve transparency, measures to boost the number of new entrants to the retail energy market, the end to doorstep selling and help for the fuel poor.