Loyal energy customers ‘pay more’

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Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Customers who have been with their energy suppliers for years are routinely being charged higher prices, a partially complete probe into the sector has reportedly found.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will report today on the progress of its investigation, which began last year after a referral from Ofgem in light of what it said were soaring household bills and increased public distrust in the sector.

The CMA will publish its provisional findings in May, but is today expected to sum up its thinking based on evidence so far and highlight areas it will focus on during the rest of the investigation.

Between 40% and 50% of customers have stuck with their supplier for more than a decade, the probe is expected to say.

The majority – 95% – of dual fuel customers, that is those who receive all their energy from one supplier, could have saved as much as £234 a year if they had changed provider in the period between 2011 and 2014, the probe update will also reportedly say.

Evidence gathered so far is expected to support the suggestion that the Big Six suppliers can “segment the market and price discriminate”.

All of the Big Six – E.ON, British Gas, Scottish Power, npower, SSE and EDF – have recently announced cuts in their gas prices in the wake of falling wholesale costs. But the scale of the reductions have been criticised by consumer groups as too small.

Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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