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Millions of energy customers are charged too much


Millions of energy customers have been paying more than they should have for their energy bills, according to research from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

In the conclusion of a year long investigation, the CMA found that British Gas, EDF Energy, Npower, E-On, Scottish Power and SSE had collectively charged households a total of £1.2 billion extra a year more than they would have done if the market had been adequately competitive.

The report also found that by switching, dual fuel customers could save an average of £160 a year.

The CMA has now suggested several ways to combat this problem. These include a transitional price cap while changes are made to the market. They have also suggested that to help vulnerable customers, those on pre-payment meters, who are often charged the highest tariffs, should be the first to receive smart meters when the national roll-out gets underway.

Richard Lloyd, the executive director of consumer group Which? said:
"This is a damning indictment of how the energy market is failing consumers, with the biggest suppliers taking advantage of millions of households who have also been hit with the costs of government energy policy.”

Energy UK, which represents the major suppliers, said:
"Customers have not been overcharged but money may still be saved when people shop around for deals that suit their individual circumstances.
"There is greater choice for customers. It is easy to switch and a few minutes online could save households money and get them the deal that is right for them."

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