Energy Companies Hiding Behind Complex, Confusing Tariffs

Some of the leading energy companies in the UK – and the Big Six have been singled out in particular – have been accused of hiding behind complex and confusing tariffs, and refusing to make it easy for customers to move to the best deal for them.

For a while now customers have been forced to visit energy saving experts and comparison sites to ensure that they’re getting a good deal, since it can be difficult to know exactly what they’re being charged for, and how much.
New government plans look set to change the way the big energy companies operate however; by 2014 it will be mandatory for customers to be moved over to the cheapest tariff available to them.

For people who do not know how to go about cutting their energy bills this is great news; however it does not guarantee that everyone will see their gas and electricity bills lowered, as criticism has come that the plans could force some of the cheapest tariffs available at the moment out of existence.

The proposals are expected to be pushed through in January, and have been met with some derision from parties suggesting that by helping people unwilling to shop around for cheaper bills, a more expensive bottom price will come into force for people that do check.

A spokesperson for Make It Cheaper an energy comparison site, said: “The truth is that consumers could have been saving on their bills all this time. The government doesn’t need to intervene for that to happen. In fact, there’s a danger that their intervention, well meant as it is, will deprive some energy consumers of the best deals that would have otherwise been available to them. What hasn’t yet been done - but should clearly have been given priority - is the need for government to set realistic targets for what it considers to be acceptable levels of engagement (i.e. switching). If it then fails to meet these targets, it has a much clearer justification for encouraging this type of behaviour by flagging up how to find cheaper tariffs on consumers’ bills.”

Vijayraj Reddy
Vijayraj Reddy is founder & editor-in-chief of, a financial blog which helps people to earn money, invest money and save money. You can find him on Facebook & Twitter or send him email at [email protected]

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