Energy: Companies

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 26th February 2016.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to the Which? 2016 energy satisfaction survey, what steps she is taking to ensure the big six energy companies improve their customer service as well as reduce their prices.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

It is important we have a vibrant, dynamic competitive energy market where energy companies work hard to attract customers though customer service as well as price. There are now 31 independent suppliers in the domestic retail energy market, up from 7 in 2010. Switching from a standard tariff to the best fixed, direct debit deal on the market, many people could save around £200 – and some could save more. During 2015, 3.8 million domestic customers switched electricity supplier and 2.8 million customers switched gas supplier.

The Competition and Markets Authority are nearing the end of their enquiry into the energy markets. We are determined to do whatever it takes to ensure markets work well for consumers.

In the meantime, the Department will be working with Ofgem, the Ombudsman Service and Citizens Advice to make sure that the consumer complaints services are working for consumers and identifying systemic industry wide problems to improve customer service.

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