Energy and Climate Change CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Michael Dangoor

There has been a lot coming out in the news media about energy companies overcharging unwary customers. I would go further and claim that some energy companies are indulging in crooked behaviour. Please let me explain.

I am somebody who does check if he can save on his energy costs. Three weeks ago, when my existing company notified me that my gas bill would be going up 20%, I went on to a comparison website. I found that I could make a saving of 10% by moving to nPower and so I applied to transfer to them. About ten days ago I heard on the radio that nPower would be increasing gas prices by 9%. Naturally I was concerned about my new contract. I phoned nPower who informed that my gas unit charge would be going up 29%! I immediately cancelled. This is disgraceful behaviour. I cannot believe this sort of sharp practice is allowed to happen in a supposedly regulated market.

For the future I believe it will be a big step forward if the energy companies are required to fix any offer for at least 12 months. If the consumer cancels within the 12 months he would have to pay £50 charge.

April 2013

Prepared 26th July 2013