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Wasps preferred over unfair energy tariffs

Ofgem is considering reintroducing "new customer-only" tariffs previously banned in 2022, sparking debate over fairness in energy pricing, as revealed by a recent survey by Octopus

Ofgem is considering the reinstatement of “new customer-only” tariffs, previously banned in 2022 to shield consumers from price volatility during the energy crisis.

The move has reignited debate over fairness in energy pricing, as highlighted by a recent survey conducted by Octopus Energy.

The proposed tariffs, exclusively available to new customers, were initially prohibited to prevent millions of loyal customers from subsidising discounted rates offered solely to newcomers.

A YouGov survey indicates widespread public support for equal pricing, with 89% of respondents advocating for identical deals for both new and existing customers.

In response to Ofgem‘s proposals, Octopus Energy conducted a survey revealing the top ten preferences of consumers over “new customer-only” tariffs.

Surprisingly, respondents expressed a preference for inconveniences such as resetting passwords and encountering unexpected items at self-checkouts over facing unequal energy pricing.

Respondents indicated a preference for enduring wasp stings over facing the complexities of unfair energy pricing, with just over half (62%) expressing dislike for them.

Despite the ongoing debate, recent statistics from Electralink suggest that switching rates are returning to pre-crisis levels, indicating that consumers are actively seeking better deals despite concerns over tariff fairness.

Rachel Fletcher, Director of Economics and Regulation, commented: “Octopus has long campaigned against tease and squeeze pricing, where loyal customers subsidise unsustainable cheap deals for new ones.

“This practice contributed to 30 energy companies going bust during the fossil fuel crisis.

“Ofgem’s ban on ‘acquisition-only’ tariffs aimed for fair prices for all. Reintroducing them would mark a return to the ‘Wild West’, costing everyone more long term.

“Instead, we need a transparent, fair market where suppliers compete on innovation, service and efficiency – delivering lower prices for all, not just a few.”

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