The Dept of Energy (DECC) has today published its latest annual public attitudes on energy. And for UK energy providers – particularly the Big Six – there is some shocking news.
Public trust in energy suppliers has shown slight but statistically significant reductions in two key elements of customer service.
Half (50%) of people do not trust their energy provider to inform them about the best tariff for them – down from 54% in the previous survey.
And there was also a 3% fall in the number of people who trust their energy provider to give them accurate and impartial advice on energy efficiency measures – dropping to 54%.
On the positive side, the two aspects that people are most likely to trust their energy supplier on have remained the same since the tracker begun.
These are; to provide a bill which accurately reflects energy use (69%), and to provide a breakdown of the components of your bill (67%).
When asked about their history of switching gas or electricity supplier, 15% had switched in the last year. A further four in ten (39%) had switched longer than a year ago. The remainder (42%) had never switched their energy supplier.
Levels of switching have shown little change since the tracker begun: the proportion that say they switched supplier in the last year as been either 15% or 16% in every annual DECC tracker.
The survey also shows that the more affluent and higher-educated consumers are most likely to switch their energy supplier. The result of this is that the Big Six – who inherited millions of ‘legacy’ consumers on de-nationalisation – continue to rely on the inertia of their older and poorer customers not to switch.
The results referred to above are based on 2,105 face-to-face in-home interviews conducted with a representative sample of UK adults aged 16+. Fieldwork was conducted between 23 March 2016 and 27 March 2016 on the TNS UK Omnibus, which uses a random location quota sampling method. The questionnaire was designed by DECC and TNS BMRB drawing on a number of questions from previous surveys.