Consumers continue to struggle with rises in energy and fuel prices

Consumers across the country are angered because of the continuously rising fuel prices. In recent years consumers are facing many problems which strain their household budget. Energy bills are rapidly growing and diesel and petrol aren’t staying behind. The price of these two commodities has increased greatly over the past several years and this has put the UK’s fuels sector in the spotlight.

A research conducted by the AA shows that the price of petrol has risen by 38% from June 2007 until June 2012. In the same period, the price of diesel has risen by 43%. Customers, consumers, charities and businesses from the entire country are worried by this fact and their concerns have finally reached the government.

The Office of Fair Trading is going to launch an enquiry which will help them determine if the problems aren’t caused by the competition in the fuel industry. The enquiry will focus on motoring and consumer bodies which will share their worries and plans and submit their report back in six weeks. The OFT is planning to release its findings in January 2013.

OFT Director, Claire Hart, says: “We are aware that many people are concerned by the rapidly growing prices of fuels in the country. We’ve received different letters and claims and we’ll study the sector carefully and learn more about the growing concerns there. Hopefully the information will help us determine if the reason for these problems is hidden in competition problems or it something else.”

One of the most important questions which the OFT should answer is if an eventual decrease of he price of crude oil will affect pump prices. Another interesting question is whether the practices used by major oil companies are making it difficult for independent retailers to take a spot on the market. Meanwhile, the lack of competition and fuel retailers in distant UK communities may be the cause for the increasing fuel prices in these areas.