Citizens Advice has published new research on energy tariff options for consumers in vulnerable situations which aims to provide researchers, policy makers and energy market stakeholders with a better understanding of the possible options to ensure that disengaged vulnerable consumers are not penalised by higher tariffs. The research was carried out by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Read more here.
Previous analysis by Ofgem indicates that poorer consumers could be losing out more than other disadvantaged social groups by not switching energy supplier – the number of poorer ‘sticky’ customers (those who are inactive in the energy market) is 10% higher than average amongst these groups. Based on average savings, consumers on non-fixed tariffs could have saved between £158 and £234 a year (2012-2014) had they switched. So Citizens Advice commissioned this research to investigate options to ensure that vulnerable sticky consumers have access to affordable energy.
Dr Toby Bridgeman, researcher at CSE, led the study. He said: “The research shows that there are several straightforward options that could be introduced to significantly reduce the fuel bills of millions of vulnerable consumers who are currently disadvantaged by the energy market, paying over the odds for their fuel. It would be fantastic if the investigation into the energy market being conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority were to recognise and support some of the recommendations in this report.”