Customers overpay £1.2bn for energy

Prices 5% higher than they should have been

Updated: 

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British households are overpaying for their energy by around £1.2 billion a year and are failing to switch to get the best deals, the competition watchdog said today.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its year-long inquiry into the energy sector found tariffs offered by the big six energy suppliers were around 5% higher than they should be between 2009 and 2013.

It outlined plans to encourage customers to switch, but stopped short of recommending a break-up of the energy giants, saying competition in wholesale markets was working well.

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Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport said energy bills were still far too complicated, which was a barrier to switching.

"It's great that the CMA has recognised that the customer isn't always getting the best deal. Far too many consumers have never even considered switching to a supplier and the regulation which was intended to make things easier and fairer for them has in fact, made things worse and actually got in the way of competition."

"What we need now is next steps from the CMA that will enable us to 'unstick the stickies', and light touch regulation which helps the consumer."

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