The Big Six energy companies are overcharging us by a disgraceful £1.2bn a year. Here’s how

We’re paying 5% more than we should be

The Big Six energy companies are overcharging customers by £1.2bn a year as millions of customers pay “too much” for their energy bills, an investigation has found.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which did the research, is recommending a price cap to protect customers from high gas and electricity prices.

The year-long probe carried out by the regulator found customers of British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, RWE Npower, Scottish Power and SSE paid 5% more than the “competitive level” during 2009 to 2013.

This amounts to £1.2bn a year across all households, and £500m across small and medium sized businesses.

“There are millions of customers paying too much for their energy bills — but they don’t have to,” said chairman of the investigation Roger Witcomb.

The CMA said the market was being impeded by widespread customer disengagement, with 34% of people having never considered switching provider.

“Lack of awareness of what deals are available, confusing and inaccurate bills and the real and perceived difficulties of changing suppliers all deter switching — and the higher price levels reflect that suppliers can charge higher prices to these disengaged customers,” the CMA said.

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