Further research proves energy information is unclear

Published on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 10:32
Posted by Scott Buckler

New research commissioned by Ofgem, as part of its Consumer First initiative, has provided yet more evidence that consumers want simpler and clearer energy information from suppliers

The Consumer First Panel took part in a series of workshops run by Ipsos MORI. The panel supported the need for standardised and easily understood language on pricing and energy use information. Many also want to limit the number of tariffs to help them compare prices, and they want to see greater effort by energy suppliers to build relationships with their customers.

The research also found that consumers want to see more done to:

- help customers understand how they can use information (e.g. about their personal energy use) to find the right tariff for them
- ensure that supplier communications are easy to understand for all consumers
- assure customers that potential savings/benefits can be realised by switching to the right tariff for them.

Senior Partner for Markets Andrew Wright said: “This research is a further call to action for energy suppliers to back Ofgem’s reforms to deliver the simplicity that consumers repeatedly say they want. It is vital consumers can understand the information they receive from energy suppliers so they can choose the right deal for them.”

Ofgem is currently consulting on proposals for a simpler, clearer more competitive energy market. It aims to improve transparency through simpler tariffs, new rules to improve and standardise information energy suppliers send customers in bills, annual energy statements and price increase notification letters and also tougher standards of conduct on suppliers.

Under Ofgem’s reforms consumers would be free to choose either standard tariffs with a standing charge set by Ofgem or non-standard tariffs which would be entirely set by suppliers. Ofgem is publishing a consultation today seeking views on how the standing charges for standard tariffs will be set.


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