Thousands respond to energy standing charges review | UK | News

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Thousands respond to energy standing charges review | UK | News

Thousands of people have responded to a consultation about standing charges for energy bills.

Ofgem said 20,000 people have responded before the review deadline, showing the frustration faced by billpayers. The regulator now wants to encourage debate over the charges.

At the moment, energy customers pay a fixed daily price for covering the cost of connecting to the supply network. Customers have however been angered by increasing fees and the inability to reduce what they pay.

The standing charge varies depending on where a customers lives. The amount paid for the standing charge is irrelevant to how much energy is used.

The charge has doubled over the last two years, says the BBC, although it is capped by the regulator. Typically it would be 53p for electricity or 30p for gas, meaning households stump up an extra £300 a year.

The cash helps to cover costs such as dealing with the failures of some suppliers. Ofgem urged billpayers, charities and businesses to share their thoughts about the charges.

An Ofgem spokesman told the BBC: « We know that with wider cost of living pressures, people are concerned about their bills so we will now use these responses to inform how we approach this complex issue. and set out next steps in due course. »

Ofgem, along with some consumer groups, say merely shifting the fee onto usage charges would risk penalising a different group of vulnerable customers. It comes at a time when consumer group Which? raised concerns about customer service among energy firms.

It said the cost of bills and lack of chances to switch meant « good customer service is more important than ever ».

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