Battle to reduce energy bills

GETTING tough with energy companies is a vital step to helping local people reduce their ever increasing energy bills, and Borders MP Michael Moore supported Energy Secretary Chris Huhne’s call at the Liberal Democrat conference last week to “get tough” with energy companies and ensure that consumers get the best possible deal from their suppliers.

Simpler tariffs which require energy companies to tell you whether you could buy energy more cheaply on another tariff were also on the Energy Secretary’s agenda.

Ofgem has calculated that the average household could save £200 by switching to the lowest cost supplier but fewer than one in seven households do so and Mr Huhne has pledged to help households save money with simpler charging, clearer bills and quicker switching.

The Energy Secretary also set out his plan to encourage new smaller companies to come into the market by cutting red tape and making it easier for them to buy and sell electricity in the wholesale market. His aim is to achieve greater choice and a better deal for customers, by simplifying the tariff system alongside a Government crackdown on anti-competitive practices.

Following the Energy Secretary’s speech, Mr Moore said: “Many of my constituents have contacted me about rising energy prices and the lack of choice in the energy market so I am pleased that Chris Huhne is taking these steps to get tough on the ‘big six’ suppliers and strike a fairer deal for consumers.

“The Government is deeply aware that many people will struggle to pay their energy bills as a result of the price rises announced in recent months and we are committed to doing all we can to help those in fuel poverty.

“Through measures such as the Warm Homes Discount scheme, cold weather payments and winter fuel allowance, the elderly and those most in need will be supported to meet their energy bills and stay warm through the winter.”