Recently information has been released by the Energy Ombudsman that has showed the number of complaints about energy firms have sky rocketed by over 80% in recent months. In September alone over 600 complaints were filed with the ombudsman claiming that suppliers had been fobbing off their customers. When compared with the same period for last year that figure was only around 350 complaints.
Many people are speculating that these complaints are just a few of those that people would be making if they were aware that the ombudsman service existed. The amount of people who’ve been awarded compensation this year is nearly 4000 and in September alone around 430 people were given compensation. The amount of compensation being given has also increased from last year’s figures and now stands at around £160, compared with £120 for the same time last year.
The total number of complaints for the year has increased by nearly a third and most of the complaints were about tariffs and billing. Many of the larger energy providers are some of the worst for lowering their prices when the costs fall. One small energy supplier, Ovo Energy, has said that when the costs of energy fall for them they will also reduce the cost for their customers.
Stephen Fitzpatrick is the Chief Executive of the company and has said, “Of course, we have to make a profit if we want to stay in business but if there is a drop in the price of wholesale energy then we would simply be making more profit and we would rather the saving be passed on to our customers. The big energy suppliers have no right to defend their healthy profits and it is nothing more than greed on their part.
“The recent energy summit that has been held by the government was a complete waste and I feel it has done nothing to help the consumer. Mr Cameron is saying that it is a big step forward in making bills fairer for the consumer but to me it is just a big let down. The energy summit has done nothing to reduce the cost of energy to consumers in a time where reduced costs are very much needed.”
The biggest trade union in the UK is Unite and they have been supporting consumers in their demands for cost savings to be passed on from the big energy suppliers to their customers. Kevin Coyne is a national officer for Unite and he has recently said, “Our members are angry and confused about the recent rise in prices.
We understand that it is necessary for energy companies to make a profit so that energy can be easily provided in the future but when the wholesale price of energy has come down they are just being greedy when they are not lowering their prices for consumers. Their actions are unjustifiable and need to be immediately addressed.”