Author: Age Cymru
Published on 21 November 2012 09:30 AM
Responding to UK Government proposals that will see energy companies to only able to provide four tariffs each for gas and electricity customers, Age Cymru’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs Graeme Francis says:
“The number of people in Wales struggling to heat their homes is increasing due to a toxic combination of energy bills rising above the rate of inflation, most people’s incomes being static – a particular problem for older people on fixed incomes – and the fact that a large number of homes in Wales are not energy efficient.
“Age Cymru welcomes the intention behind any moves to help people more easily compare prices across different tariffs and to find the cheapest deal for them and we also welcome plans to make companies automatically switch people on these tariffs to a cheaper deal.
“Wales traditionally has some of the lowest levels of people switching energy supplier and tariff, which means that many will be on old, so-called ‘dead’ tariffs which are uncompetitive.
“However, the UK Government’s plans to limit companies to four tariffs for each type of fuel are not guaranteed to bring bills down, especially if suppliers remove their cheapest deals in the name of simplicity.
“This is also extremely unlikely to lead to lower bills in the long term as a range of other pressures combine to push prices up, such as rising wholesale prices paid by suppliers, environmental taxes and the need to invest to update the UK’s energy infrastructure.
“That’s why we need much more concerted efforts to tackle fuel poverty such as investing much more resources in making homes more energy efficient.”