In an announcement today, the Government stated its intention to encourage consumers to switch energy suppliers in an effort to improve their savings. This push for better energy deals is welcomed, says independent price comparison and switching service uSwitch.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey unveiled new proposals which he hopes will change the mindset of consumers who have been mistrustful or confused about switching energy in the past, and turn them into “savvy switchers”.
Davey says consumers are confused by complicated tariffs — so much so that 84% of households are put off from engaging in the energy market.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, welcomes initiatives from DECC that encourage consumers to get a better energy deal and that promote a competitive market for gas and electricity:
“The Government has recognised that the best way to help consumers get a better energy deal is to make sure there is a healthy competitive market. Having made the diagnosis, it now plans to give the market a much-needed shot in the arm by removing some of the blockages that are preventing consumers from actively taking part.
“DECC’s plans also recognise the needs of very different groups of consumers – making switching even easier for the tech-savvy smart phone user while looking to provide more hand-holding and face-to-face support for the vulnerable. This is especially important as the vulnerable have the most to gain from being able to shop around.
“We are also delighted that the Government is setting out to reassure consumers and to give them confidence in price comparison services. We have a big role to play in empowering consumers and giving them impartial, independent and factual information so that they can choose the best deal and supplier for their needs. It’s important that these principles are maintained so that consumers can trust what is going to be an increasingly valuable source of independent advice and information.
“As ever though, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. The measure of success will be in the growing numbers of consumers shopping around and helping themselves to lower prices. This in turn will make the energy companies sit up and then we shall start to see what a truly competitive market is able to deliver.”