December figures from Ombudsman Services, the Ombudsman for the energy sector, reveal that energy complaints continue to be at an all-time high with a 106% increase over complaints figures in December 2012.
Chief Energy Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said:
“Our complaints figures tell us just how tough things are for consumers. We are now receiving more than 300 complaints a week and often these come from people who have been confused by the tariffs on offer.”
He welcomed new legislation that limits tariffs and simplify prices and said:
“Ofgem’s new rules make life simpler and fairer for consumers, which can only be a good thing.”
Under changes introduced at the beginning of the year Ofgem is banning suppliers from offering complex tariffs, for example where consumers are initially charged a higher rate, which falls the more they use.
The reforms also mean that once a consumer has decided how they want to pay for energy they will have just four tariffs to choose from for gas and four for electricity, from each supplier. Together Ofgem believes these changes will make it far easier for consumers to compare deals and find the best tariff for them.
From April 2014 a range of reforms are also coming into force to give consumers much clearer information on energy including suppliers having to tell consumers regularly in writing which of their tariffs is cheapest for them on bills, annual statements and other communications.