Energy prices ‘top worry for UK consumers’

Energy prices ‘top worry for UK consumers’

by Big Mac

Concept: High Energy Costs

Consumers in the UK are most worried about gas and electricity prices.

According to a new survey from Which? nearly two-thirds (64%) of people said they were concerned about energy prices, a rise of 8% since September.

It also found more than a third of consumers (35%) do not trust the market, an increase of 6% during the same period.

Fuel prices and public spending cuts are also in the top consumer worry list.

The news comes ahead of the consumer body’s deadline for energy companies to submit plans on how they would help customers on the most expensive tariffs move to better deals as part of the ‘Fair Energy Prices’ campaign.

It said energy firms have until the end of January to do so.

Although some energy companies have temporarily frozen their standard tariffs this winter, Which? believes it doesn’t go far enough to help those customers on the most expensive deals.

Last month Ofgem revealed around 20 million energy customers, mainly with large suppliers, are on standard variable rates and are potentially missing out on significant savings.

It added consumers could save as much as £261 a year without having to move to a different supplier.

Alex Neill, Managing Director of Which? Home & Legal Services, said: “The clock is ticking for energy companies with 16 million households stuck on variable tariffs and trust in the industry falling, more needs to be done to move people onto better deals.

“With price hikes due later this year, temporary fixes from suppliers are just not enough to help people stuck on the most expensive deals. Energy companies will have no one else to blame but themselves if the government and the regulator have to step in and intervene.”