Report: Only 40% of consumers trust energy suppliers

Britain’s energy suppliers are facing a crisis of consumer confidence after new research has revealed that just four in ten consumers trust their energy supplier.  

The research, commissioned by the price comparison website uSwitch.com, shows that over the last two years, 45% of those surveyed trust their energy supplier less than they used to.

Of the 45% who expressed distrust for the energy supplier, 48% indicated that they felt their energy supplier did not deliver ‘good value for money’. A further 37% felt that the energy suppliers lacked openness and transparency. A third of those who indicated that they do not trust their supplier say that the reason is because companies do not do enough to help consumers reduce their energy bills.

Communication appears to be a major problem for energy suppliers with 25% of those surveyed saying that overly complex bills and information have eroded their trust. A further 12% found it difficult to talk directly with their energy supplier.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said: “The breakdown in trust between consumers and energy suppliers is symptomatic of a far deeper malaise. The simple fact is that this market is not working for consumers, which is why it’s now critical that Ofgem gets the prescription right and sets it firmly on the road to recovery.”

Ofgem is set to introduce a range of different reform measures intended to deliver a simpler and clearer energy market. The measures include a cap on tariff numbers which will restrict energy suppliers to four core tariffs per fuel type. Ofgem’s energy market reforms will come into force this summer.  

A recent DECC survey found that 40% of the British public are ‘very concerned’ about steep rises in energy prices. Alistair Buchanan, Chief Executive of Ofgem, recently warned that impending closure of around 10% of the UK’s generation capacity within the next month would lead to an over-reliance on imported energy and therefore lead to a significant rise in energy bills in the immediate future.