Energy sector must offer consumers choice, clarity and low cost tariffs

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 30 Aug 2013 13:27, Last updated: 2013-08-30
Consumers need - and deserve - an energy sector that can offer choice, clarity and low cost
Consumers need - and deserve - an energy sector that can offer choice, clarity and low cost

CEO Chris Saunders from Navetas, the makers of online energy management system Loop, reveals what he thinks should be done to reduce energy bills...

"Last week, the Office for National Statistics revealed that households in England and Wales have dramatically cut their energy use, with average consumption of gas and electricity falling by 24.7% in six years.

However, regulator Ofgem points out that, despite this reduction, consumer energy bills have risen by 28% over the last three years.

It appears that cash-strapped consumers are working hard to reduce their energy usage, no doubt in a bid to combat a relentless stream of rising electricity and gas prices, but they seem to be paying the price for it.

Consumer efforts to reduce energy bills have made great strides in assisting the Government in its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and meet its 2050 targets. But it seems the Government’s efforts are falling short.

For example, only 132 people have signed up to the Green Deal, eight months after the launch of this initiative designed to help business and homeowners to employ more green technologies in their properties.

So it seems that consumers are taking the initiative and leading the nation’s carbon reduction efforts. But what exactly is the Government doing to help them in return?

The pressure is still on homeowners to deliver further energy savings, in line with Government targets, but these efforts clearly do not bring a financial reward. The smart meter roll out won't be completed until 2020, and it is consumers who are helping to fund it.

Consumers need – and deserve - an energy sector that can offer choice, clarity and low cost.
Choice is not just a question of increasing competition, we must make it easy for consumers to navigate all of the options available to them to ensure that they are on the best tariff at all times for the amount of energy they use.

There should be clarity, including no confusing comparisons rates, or small print, or variable tariffs with hidden costs. 'Petrol forecourt-style' single unit prices would give consumers the best tool to see clearly what energy deal is right for them.

It shouldn't cost consumers the earth (and a £12 billion smart meter programme) to understand their energy usage and costs in order to make savings. We have the technology now to roll out affordable applications and technologies to help every consumer get the best deal on their energy and ensure they are rewarded for carbon reduction efforts."





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