A simples guide

Are reforms coming to the energy market?

You could be forgiven for missing the issue of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report on the energy market – it was released on 24th June this year, the same day as the announcement of the result of the EU referendum. Here’s a quick guide to what it said.

First off, who is the CMA?

The CMA is a part of the UK government. It’s not a ministry in its own right, though it employs around 700 people. It promotes competition both inside and outside the UK. The CMA aims to make markets work well for the economy, businesses within it, and more importantly for us consumers.

The CMA Energy Report

Back in June 2014, the government tasked the CMA with reviewing the UK energy market. Its job was to recommend plans to improve how the market operates, with the goal to benefit consumers.


What were its findings?

  • The main finding was that UK households had collectively paid £1.4 billion a year more than they needed to for their gas and electricity, and this was a staggering £2 billion in 2015.
  • It’s still too difficult to shop around for energy deals. The CMA propose a database of contact details of customers who have not switched for three years which must be shared with rival suppliers.
  • There will be a temporary cap on prices for households with prepayment meters given the relative lack of competition that these customers have compared to those with standard meters.

What should you do?

Start comparing energy suppliers

People are giving energy companies a really easy ride by sitting on expensive standard tariffs. We all have a choice to switch energy suppliers and it couldn't be easier. If we all did, it would do two things:

  1. You could save money. On average comparethemarket.com customers have been saving over £461** a year by switching.
  2. By switching, we all help make the market more competitive and with that comes a greater chance of driving overall prices lower.

If you already switch, spread the word! Help out family, friends and neighbours and get them switching too.

So why are so many customers simply sitting on the standard rate?

  • They don’t know how to switch? We genuinely think we’ve made switching easy. Don’t be afraid, we’ve even prepared a guide on how to do it. Take a look here.
  • Worried you’ll lose supply? You won’t. We’ve prepared another guide on that here.
  • It takes too long and it’s complicated? It really isn’t, it should take no more than 21 days to complete for 70% of households and if you use our service we may even be able to help you make the switch to your new supplier.

Grab a recent bill and follow the really easy steps on our comparison page. If you’ve never switched before, you might be in for a really nice surprise.

**£461.23 was the average annual comparethemarket.com customer saving from energy supply switches from January to April 2016.