THE BOSS of toothless energy regulator Ofgem said yesterday that “the vast majority of people” should receive lower bills because they are being overcharged by the Big Six firms.
Companies including British Gas, Npower and EDF should pass on savings to households after enjoying massively reduced wholesale prices, watchdog chief executive Dermot Nolan said.
The “biggest component” of energy bills — around 45 per cent of the total charge — is the wholesale price, but this cost to the companies fell by nearly a third over the last year, he said.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We really should be seeing bigger retail cuts than we have seen so far. “I think what they are consciously doing is charging as high as they think people will get.”
The lack of competition is one of the main reasons behind sky-high gas and electricity bills, Mr Nolan said, despite customers already facing a confusing array of 34 different suppliers when comparing them for a better deal.
Customers can save around £300 a year if they finally manage to find a tariff with the most value, he added.
But Labour hit out at the regulator for failing to take on Big Six super-profiteering.
Shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy said it is “glaringly obvious” that customers are still being “ripped off” by firms greedy to make a profit “at any cost.”
“The excuses for inaction must now end,” she said.
“We need bold and decisive changes to our energy market to stop people from being fleeced any longer.”