Energy price reductions fail to impress consumers
ScottishPower today implements its 3.3% gas and electricity price decrease, amidst confusion and a lack of satisfaction regarding how cuts have been passed down
New research carried out by uSwitch reveals that just 21% of consumers understand how cuts to green levies affect their bills.
A further 6% of respondents believe energy suppliers have not acted fairly with regards to how these cuts have been implemented by the big six energy suppliers.
Most damningly, just one in ten consumers feel they will benefit from the reductions and 75% think energy prices will rise again this year.
ScottishPower’s cut comes into effect
ScottishPower has today become the fourth of the big six energy supplies to cut its gas and electricity prices in line with the government led cuts to green levies.
The reduction will bring the average ScottishPower consumers’ dual fuel bill down from £1,325 per year to £1,284.
The cuts do not, however, wipe out the winter energy price rises and the average household can still expect to pay about £50 more in 2014.
Consumers unhappy with how price cuts were passed down
The same uSwitch survey also found that 84% of consumers feel the gas and electricity price cuts were not well communicated and that the whole process was too complicated.
An additional 76% would have liked the government to steer the process, instead of leaving the actual implementation down to the big six.
As it stands, each of the big six will or has made reductions due to the government led cuts, however, each energy company is doing so in different ways.
The news follows a statement by Energy Minister Greg Barker, in which he branded the behaviour of the big six in relation to the price cuts “not acceptable”.
‘This whole exercise in reducing energy prices has turned into a damp squib’
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said: “While some consumers might be breathing a sigh of relief today, for many others this whole exercise in reducing energy prices has turned into a damp squib. Across the board, consumers have been left confused and uncertain about whether they will benefit from the levy reductions or not.
“What should have been a ‘good news story’ and an easy win for suppliers has backfired horribly and it is simply unacceptable that many of their customers have missed out entirely or are being forced to wait until after the winter before their bills are cut. Those shivering in their homes today need help immediately and not once winter has been and gone. I strongly urge that suppliers promise to backdate reductions so that consumers are no longer afraid to heat their homes.
“But consumers can also help themselves to ease the burden of their energy bill, by ensuring that they are on the cheapest available deal. With £274 between the cheapest and the most expensive tariff, consumers have a lot to gain by shopping around and seeing what else the market has to offer.”