Research Gateshead Investigates Energy News Round-up There’s been a great deal of news surrounding energy suppliers in the news over the past fortnight. We’ve rounded up some of the most impactful stories, so you can stay informed about the latest changes. Last week British Gas announced it will be raising its electricity prices by 12.5%. Whilst gas prices remain unchanged, a number of consumer experts have decried the energy supplier’s move. Will Hodgson, co-founder of the collective campaign group The Big Deal, branded the cost rises as a “slap in the face” to loyal consumers. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, stated in response: “it is positive that British Gas has chosen to credit 200,000 of its most vulnerable customers with £76 to offset its price rise this winter - but this underlines the need for a long-term solution to protect loyal customers of all firms.” With the changes taking effect on 15 September this year, we strongly advise the public to compare suppliers and check they’re getting the best deal possible on their energy. Our simple Energy Comparison Tool can be found here. Industry regulator Ofgen reported that it will be reducing the level of prepayment meters, in an action lauded by Citizens Advice. This change will save the typical dual fuel prepayment customer an average of £19 a year, cutting the bills of around 3 million households in the UK. These price reductions will be implemented on 1 October this year, helping consumers save their money in the winter months. Citizens Advice has called upon other energy suppliers to similarly identify manners in which they can lower the costs of electricity for consumers. Gillian Guy commented on the situation: “Ofgem’s decision to pass on lower electricity costs to consumers by reducing the level of safeguard tariff for prepayment meter customers is right - and will mean millions of often poorer households will get some relief on their energy bills.” The government has launched an independent review evaluating ways in which to reduce household and environmental energy costs, focusing on how UK bills can be kept low whilst causing minimal environmental damage. The study, which is being carried out by energy professor Dieter Helm, is estimated to be completed in October. However, there is concern that study has been restricted to only reviewing electricity and the expert panel lacks a consumer voice. Gillian Guy previously expressed in her response to the 2017 Queen’s speech that she will be “keeping an eye on the progress of the government’s proposals for intervening in the energy market to make sure they deliver lower bills for consumers.” If you have any queries about your energy supply, you can read frequently asked questions here or contact Citizens Advice Gateshead.