Stop the Oligopolistic Exploitation of UK consumers by the ‘BIG 6’ Energy Companies

Ongoing Campaign Deadline
£1,250.00 Minimum Target
£1,210.00 Raised So Far
0 Backed This Campaign
UK Government Target Entity
National, United Kingdom Target Audience
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Campaign Issue 1: The energy industry is an oligopoly with very little market competition

The Big 6: SSE, Scottish Power, British Gas (Centrica), npower, E.On and EDF Energy have a 92% stronghold over the UK energy market. Due to these oligopolistic conditions and lack of market competition prices are rising and energy company profits are growing despite a sharp fall in the wholesale cost of Energy. This extra margin is not being adequately passed on to consumers and has resulted in energy prices rising at a much faster rate than inflation and earnings. Loyal customers are the worst affected with discounted rates primarily only being offered to new customers.

OFGEM needs to impose a short term rate hike freeze to restore fairness and then apply an inflation linked ceiling on price hikes.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/media/press-releases/energy-prices-rise-eight-times-rate-of-earnings/

* New calculations from Citizens Advice find that the big six suppliers have increased their prices by a total of 37% since October 2010. Average earnings have only risen by 4.4% during the same period.

* Energy firms’ prices have gone up three times the rate of inflation, which has risen by 10.2% since October 2010.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/29/energy-companies-boost-profits-despite-gas-price-cuts

* Energy companies are using the falling price of gas to increase their profits to £114 a household despite a recent wave of price cuts, the industry watchdog has warned.

* The average pretax profit for a big supplier from a household bill will rise by £9 to £114 over the next 12 months, Ofgem said.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/18/big-six-energy-firms-overcharging-customers-by-up-to-234-a-year

* In a progress report on its investigation into the energy industry, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that 95% of dual fuel customers on standard variable tariffs could have saved £158 to £234 a year if they had switched provider between early 2012 and early 2014.

* “We have observed that the six large energy firms have consistently charged higher prices for the SVT for gas and electricity compared with non-standard tariffs, which provides some support for the view that these suppliers can segment the market and price discriminate,” the regulator said.

Campaign Issue 2: Consumers face rampant overcharging errors with a painful recourse process and unfair compensation

A vast number of consumers are being overcharged through billing ‘errors’ and complicated price plans and options. Consumers either lose out completely on their overpayments or have to spend considerable time and resources to get a refund by going through extremely painful complaint procedures.

There must be a monetary deterrent created to prevent the rate of these errors and a suitable system of compensation for when overcharging does occur.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jan/10/complaints-uk-energy-watchdog-triple-ofgem

* Complaints to the energy watchdog, Ofgem, have almost tripled as bills have soared, according to new figures. A record 52,308 complaints were made last year, amid mounting consumer dissatisfaction, market investigations and Ofgem-imposed sanctions – a 191% increase on 2013 and more than four times the number made in 2012 (11,283).

* It is estimated that the average UK household spent £1,265 on energy last year – £53 more than in 2013 and £271 more than three years ago. Billing-related issues were the top cause

Why Join CrowdCrusader's CrowdAction Campaign?

Every CrowdAction campaign on the CrowdCrusader platform is based on the concept of masses of individuals Crowding Together to create a powerful united force with vast resources which can influence governments and corporates to create positive change.

This campaign will focus on a CrowdFunded National Media campaign using TV, Newspaper and Radio advertisements. By dominating the public airwaves with our core message we can create an amplified level of CrowdPressure and use the power of public opinion to force the market regulator OFGEM and the Government's CMA (Competition and markets authority) to take the steps required to end the exploitation of UK consumers by the BIG 6 Energy Oligopolists.

Campaign Objectives

  • Convince the CMA (Competition and markets authority) to break up the big 6 monopoly into a minimum of 18 smaller companies in order to create greater market competition and fairer terms and conditions for consumers
  • Convince OFGEM (market regulator) to put in place a system of fines on Energy company’s when they are found guilty of overcharging errors. Consumers to be compensated with 300% of the overcharged amount

Campaign Strategy

Media Campaign

A powerful media campaign will help raise public awareness for this Campaign Issue and create the level of CrowdPressure required in order to achieve the primary objectives. See below the specific mediums selelcted by this CrowdAction Campaign.

Petition

A petition will allow this Campaign to gather sufficient support in order to ensure that the Government will formally discuss and debate the key issues as a first step towards legislative change.

Campaign Medium

TV Primary

Reach people at home for the first time using CrowdFunded TV advertising in order to build large scale public opinion and momentum in favour of this Campaign.

Radio

Reaching a suitable audience either at home or on the move will help amplify the CrowdVoice for this Campaign.

Newspaper

Advertising in local and national newspapers will help this Campaign publicise its key message across a wide and diverse audience.

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