In a new report, Ofgem claims 85% of consumers could identify the cheapest deal in less than half a minute when the standing charge is set by Ofgem. "In comparison, when Ofgem asked consumers to identify the cheapest deal under an example of current tariffs, only 44% could identify the best deal," the company said.
(Actually, Ofgem's original briefing press document was so convoluted we had to ask them to re-write it more clearly - not good news for a press release urging bill clarity!)
Anyway, Ofgem's research claimed more than 70% of consumers tested said they would be more likely to switch if tariffs were made simpler - that's a heck of a lot. Consumer research, says Ofgem, "shows that consumers are disillusioned and therefore Ofgem considers that only a radical break with the past will restore consumers‟ confidence in suppliers."
Contrast & compare - easilyThere's certainly increasing recognition from energy suppliers that such a change is needed. Major energy companies like British Gas, E.on and SSE are recognising the problems, claims Ofgem chief exec Alistair Buchanan.
"Ofgem is now calling on all suppliers to back its reform program, which gives energy suppliers a chance to draw a line under the past and an opportunity to restore consumer trust," he says.
It's also very good PR - especially when you need to tap the British public for around £200 billion to secure supplies and meet new EU carbon targets.