Chancellor's pre-budget energy proposals praised

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Alistair Darling has been praised for the energy proposals outlined in his pre-budget report.

Fairinvestment.co.uk has said it is "great news" for consumers that he plans to use statutory powers to end "unjustifiable pricing differentials".

The site claims that energy bills rose by almost 30 per cent in the 12 months to September 2008 and states that Mr Darling's proposals are a "big step in the right direction".

Rebecca Sargent, from Fairinvestment.co.uk, said the chancellor's plan to make information "clear and transparent" for consumers can help homeowners to "manage their own energy costs through engaging effectively with the energy market".

She added the proposals to make Ofgem publish quarterly reports can also display a clear relationship "between what the energy companies are paying and what they are charging".

A recent study by Fool.co.uk found that only a third of UK consumers check their electricity and gas bills.

Some five per cent of respondents admitted to having no clue what their utility bills mean.

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