Should we be regulating energy prices?

It’s all over the morning news again – energy prices and people not switching to better tariffs.  Now the 2 year investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is published and they have a number of proposals to protect the consumer from the energy companies.

They have proposed a price cap for those on pre-payment meters, which would certainly help that minority.  For the rest, for those who never switch to a better tariff, they want a database that will be made available so that competitors can target them.  More cold calling, that should do it, people are always pleased to get sales calls.

The CMA also proposed other things designed to encourage competition and to make it easier for consumers to get the best deal:

  • Ending the restriction on suppliers to offer just four tariffs;
  • Strengthening the ability of price comparison services to help consumers find the best deal;
  • Tackling so-called rollover contracts, where customers are automatically put on less favourable terms.
  • It also wants to end termination fees that discourage switching.

An alternative would be to give people a free tool that is easy to use and that would automatically ensure that they were always on the optimum tariff.  But that’s the stuff of dreams!

Author: Peter Cross

A couple of decades in the IT industry until I moved to renewable energy in 2009. More details on LinkedIn: