£400 energy overcharge for millions
While everyone is searching for cheaper energy bills, comparing prices to see what's good, there's a sneaking suspicion that looking for a cheap energy deal is like picking between a bunch of people who are going to rip you off anyway.
Which!!! have been looking into it all, and have asked regulators make it even easier for everyone to switch energy suppliers. They have crunched some numbers, and they say that millions of households are paying up to £400 too much.
Their report, which comes ahead of the final results of the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA's) investigation, the consumer watchdog said that there's clear savings to be had, if only people were more willing to shop around.
The energy watchdog, Ofgem, announced a 15% annual increase in the number of people switching suppliers, so things are definitely on the turn. However, more can still be done, and Ofgem think that there's still annual savings of (up to) £200 to be made by consumers.
So basically, Which!!!, Ofgem, and the CMA are all hinting at the same thing, and it looks like energy companies are taking British households for a ride, and too many people are still being overcharged.
British Gas, EDF, E.On, SSE, ScottishPower and Npower all charged around 5% more than they should have between 2009 and 2013. The CMA's initial findings are due to be published within the next couple of weeks, which will no doubt see the promised price drops from energy companies being issued.
Which!!! executive director Richard Lloyd says: "Millions of people are still paying way over the odds for their energy, and levels of switching, while increasing, are still woefully low. We would urge all consumers, especially those on a standard tariff with the Big Six, to switch to a cheaper deal today."
"The stakes are high for the outcome of the energy market investigation and consumers will be expecting action to protect the most vulnerable and bring about fairer energy prices."
If you want to compare and switch energy suppliers, then start shopping around now. uSwitch have a useful tool (and there's many others too).