Most UK adults do not trust any energy supplier

Suzie Neuwirth
MORE than half of British adults do not trust any energy supplier, while 36 per cent do not trust their energy bills, according to new research published today.

Forty-one per cent of 10,000 respondents fear they are paying for more energy than they are using, showed a survey commissioned by the Smart Meter Central Delivery Body (SMCDB), a government-created organisation.

And 39 per cent of people did not feel they were well-informed enough to select the right supplier, while 43 per cent of respondents did not believe they had enough information to choose the right energy tariff.

This is despite recent regulatory changes implemented by Ofgem to bring down the number of tariffs and simplify the switching process.

“Our research shows that more than half of the population feel they cannot trust any energy supplier,” said Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of the SMCDB.

“In an era when we are able to compare, record and track our household spending more easily than ever before, two in five of us have no idea whether we’re paying too much for our energy. Antiquated systems for recording energy use and managing billing are no longer fit for purpose.”

The survey’s findings come amid a public furore into spiralling energy bills and an upcoming Competition and Markets Authority investigation into competition in the retail energy market.

The so-called big six energy firms, which still dominate around 95 per cent of the market despite rising competition from smaller suppliers, have been accused of taking large profits while hiking customers’ bills.

But the firms argue that the government’s green levies and rising network costs are to blame for higher energy bills.

In March, big six firm SSE vowed to freeze its energy bills until 2016, with politicians clamouring to take credit for the move. British Gas-owner Centrica did not go so far as a price freeze pledge but has since said it does not expect to raise customers’ energy bills this year.