First Utility: Energy consumers paying £1.3bn extra on energy bills

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UK energy consumers fork out over £1.3bn a year unnecessarily on energy bills a supplier has suggested.

First Utility claims measures to create a level playing field touted by Ofgem last week, could save homeowners as much as £50 a year.

The energy regulator announced plans to allow smaller energy suppliers a chance to compete effectively with 'Big Six' energy suppliers such as British Gas, EDF Energy and npower.

However, First Utility wants further action taken to create a truly competitive wholesale market in order for the customer to see more tangible benefits. The independent energy supplier wants measures introduced which will mean all generators and retailers are forced to sell and buy their energy on the open market.

With further action like this taken, smaller independent suppliers such as First Utility would be able to pass more savings on to customers, in turn potentially leading 'Big Six' suppliers to do the same.

First Utility founder, Darren Braham, said: "Compared to the 'Big Six', we run our business very efficiently which means, despite these higher wholesale costs, we're able to be very competitive on price.

"But if we weren't penalised by an unfair, broken wholesale market, we could pass on even greater savings to consumers. With energy prices rising, anything we can do to reduce costs and consumer bills must be considered."

The 'Big Six' and many other energy suppliers are currently participating in the Government's Green Deal scheme, offering customers a subsidised rate on everything from the fitting of a new energy efficient boiler to loft and wall insulation. Customers are then able to pay for the work done as part of their energy bill via a rate dependent on their energy savings.

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