Which? said a survey found just three in 10 people (28%) correctly chose the right answer when asked to identify the cheapest deal using Ofgem’s Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR) proposal. The consumer group is recommending that tariffs are presented in the style of a petrol forecourt display using single unit prices, claiming that 84% of those surveyed picked the cheapest deal using such a format. Two thirds of people (65%) said they preferred the single unit price model compared with 10% who preferred the TCR.
Consumers also scored the single unit format highly for ease of understanding (62%), speed of use (63%) and helpfulness (53%), Which? said. The TCR aims to allow consumers to easily compare the price of different tariffs across the market, giving them an indication of the cheapest deal based on an assumption of medium usage of both gas and electricity.
But just 4% of those who viewed the TCR told Which? that they would check their usage to make sure they had made the right choice, while 57% were not even able to find their energy bill. More than half of those surveyed (55%) had never compared their energy tariff with others on the market to check if it was worth switching, with just a quarter (24%) switching suppliers in the last two years.
Energy tariff reforms 'too complex'