Calls have been made for the Government to do more to increase competition and transparency in the home energy market.
Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger has urged the Coalition to do more to help households cover the cost of electricity, gas and water in their homes.
Berger, who is the Shadow Minister for Climate Change, also told JMU Journalism that the Government should put more pressure on the big energy companies for fairer pricing.
“We know that consumers don’t trust the big energy companies,” she said. “We want to see clear, more transparent pricing – a single standing charge and a single unit price.
“We want to see all energy companies selling on the
open market, that would see better competition which
is better for the consumer. Ofgem has supported these
calls,” MP Berger added.
The cost of energy has risen sharply in recent months,
with consumers paying up to £300 a year extra on bills
than last year.
Ms Berger’s comments came as Prime Minister David
Cameron and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne met with
leaders from the six big energy companies at a special
summit earlier this month. They urged companies to do
more to help consumers save money and find ways to
encourage households to cut costs.
The Prime Minister admitted that the Government must
work “harder and faster” to help consumers, and
intends to focus on “getting people the help they need
to reduce their bills in time for this winter”.
However, Berger has questioned whether enough is being done: “We want the Government to take on the vested interests of these companies.
“The British public expect and deserve the Government to take on companies who are quick to increase prices when wholesale prices go up but are slow to reduce them again once they drop.”
Huhne outlined ways in which households can cut back on their energy costs. Households eligible for further cost-cutting measures are to be contacted about free home insulation and people are being urged to switch to direct debit payments, which can save up to £100 a year.
But Berger worries that “consumers can shop around as much as they want but 80% still aren’t offered the best deals and many are very confused. The challenge, we know, is that consumers don’t trust the big energy companies".
EXCLUSIVE by Katie Upton, JMU Journalism Liverpool Life
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Shadow Climate Change Minister & Liverpool MP Luciana Berger wants more done about energy costs
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