Citizens Advice welcomed today's announcement by Ofgem
21 March 2011
Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:
“We welcome moves announced by Ofgem today to radically simplify energy tariffs so that consumers can not only compare prices more easily between basic tariffs but the changes will make it easier for consumers to compare all tariffs, and end 'inertia' lock-ins. We hope the energy companies will accept these measures and work to improve the way information is given to consumers.
“Last year we gave consumers advice on over 105,000 fuel debt problems and 43,000 non-debt issues relating to utility companies. At this time customers on the lowest incomes need all the support they can get to avoid paying higher than necessary prices and we hope that Ofgem's initiative will particularly benefit people on the lowest incomes.
“We are concerned that Ofgem finds the companies have been too quick to raise prices - meaning that consumers have paid more than is strictly justified. We would urge both Ofgem and the companies to ensure that any company gains from overcharging is returned promptly to consumers.”
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
- Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
- Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.