Assembly Member demands government action on energy prices

2009 Medi 3 2:51 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for South Wales West Peter Black is demanding that the government take action now to prevent the prospect of big increases in energy prices this winter. Mr. Black said: "One of the major areas of concern across our region is the health of the population; and everybody knows that one of the big factors that affect people's health is being able to keep warm. "That is why the government needs to act now in order to send a clear message to the energy companies that cynical manoeuvrings to keep prices high and keep competition to a minimum this winter will not be tolerated. "The problem is that the big energy suppliers deliberately use a bewildering number of confusing price schemes to hide the fact that the price reductions that they have made do not benefit the vast majority of their customers. "One industry observer has pointed out that between February and July of this year the energy suppliers trumpeted ten price reductions or new tariffs, amounting to around a 10% reduction. "However, they didn't reduce their cheapest tariffs, just their most expensive ones. Moreover, as most people don't switch their energy supplier, most customers have seen no benefit. "Two things need to happen. First, if the regulator, OFGEN, won't make the energy companies take the need to compete on price seriously, then it is up to the government to make them do so. Second, more people - particularly those on low or fixed incomes - must switch suppliers to get a cheaper tariff."

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