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Energy Advice Line calls for energy suppliers to pass on savings

The Energy Advice line has urged energy suppliers to pass on savings achieved through falling wholesale prices, following calls by leading consumer group Which?


Julian Morgan, managing director of the price comparison, switching and advice service said suppliers were paying half what they were for gas six months ago yet domestic bills had not fallen.


"Many households are still struggling to make ends meet and rising energy prices have hit them very hard," Mr Morgan said.


"They have carried the burden of higher energy bills when wholesale energy costs go up, so they deserve to reap the benefits when they fall.


"Suppliers argue that they pay for their energy well in advance, but this argument doesn't wash when they are so quick to raise domestic prices when costs rise.


"We agree with the assessment of Which? that suppliers could well afford to pass on at least some of the savings that are bringing their own costs down."


In a new analysis of energy prices, Which? claimed households were being charged three times as much as suppliers were paying for their gas.


It said wholesale prices had hit a four-year low of less than 42p a therm - a unit of heat energy - down from 72p in December. British Gas charges £1.35 a therm for its one-year, fixed-term tariff. Other companies including nPower, EDF, SSE, E.on and Scottish Power charge between £1.21 and £1.37.


The figures were released as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigates energy prices and whether competition in the UK energy market is working for the benefit of consumers.


"Consumers have no confidence that what they are paying for their energy is fair," Mr Morgan said.


"We hope that the CMA will get to the bottom of how energy suppliers set their prices and tell consumers whether what they are paying for their energy is reasonable.


"We look forward to the CMA revealing the truth behind energy prices so that consumers can make educated decisions about where they buy their gas and electricity.


"Revealing the truth behind energy prices will also boost competition in the market by leveling the playing field."


The Energy Advice Line is the UK's leading impartial comparison, switching and advice service for businesses and householders. It actively campaigns for reform of the UK's energy market to boost competition, get consumers a better deal from suppliers and lower energy prices.


The Energy Advice Line's price comparison and switching service is free and completely impartial. Consumers can obtain energy quotes with a few computer strokes based on a diverse panel of energy suppliers including the major players and smaller independent utility companies.


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