Nine in 10 UK consumers want the government to refer the energy market to OFGEM, the UK regulator, for further investigation.
This is the main result of a recent survey of consumers by the London-based organisation, Which? which also showed that seven in 10 consumers are worried about energy prices and only one in five trust the energy companies.
Ever rising energy bills also continue to be a major concern for small and micro businesses, whose needs are more similar to consumers’ than big business as set out in a recent report for the FSB.
A Which? spokesperson said: “It is clear that the energy market is broken and urgently needs fixing. Top of our concerns is the need to increase competition and to make trading transparent. For too long the lack of competition in the energy market has not been addressed. It is now time for radical changes that deliver an effective, competitive market that works for everyone, before the scale of this crisis worsens.
“We all want to see a transparent market where consumers and businesses alike can understand their bills, compare prices and switch easily. We want to see the presence of strong competition right across the industry drive affordable pricing that give everyone the confidence they are paying a fair price for their energy.
“Only then will we genuinely be able to set about reversing the trend, and rebuild consumer trust in the energy market.”
A spokesman for Energy UK – which represents the Big Six suppliers, among others – said: “The energy industry supports competition. The increasing number of companies looking to supply energy, allied to the numbers of customers switching and choosing smaller suppliers, shows that the market is active and working in the interests of customers,”