New survey shows that MPs are beginning to lose trust in energy firms

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A new survey has revealed a stark drop in the number of MPs who still have faith in the UK's energy firms to deliver on a number of key issues.

The Ipsos-MORI study did show however that, on the whole, there still remained a belief in the energy companies to keep the country's lights on, promote insulation and deliver new innovations - but that trust was definitely on the wane.

The study showed that a higher number of MPs surveyed distrusted energy companies on a number of fundamental concerns.

These doubts included a lack of belief in regards to energy firms moving towards lower carbon generation methods - with 36% of those surveyed distrusting the firms and only 16% trusting them.

A staggering 79% of MPs questioned distrusted energy firms in regards to protecting poor and vulnerable people from high energy prices -  in spite of measures which many firms including the 'Big Six' are part of,  such as the Warm Home Discount Scheme , that offer the most needy customers a discount on their energy bills.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed also did not trust the energy firms to offer genuine competition in electricity supply.

Worst of all,  in regards to level of distrust, was the 86% of those surveyed who did not  believe that the energy firms offered clear information to choose between suppliers if they wished to change. Only one per cent of those questioned actually trusted the firms to do this.

A previous study conducted by the firm for Ofgem, found a very similar response from electricity consumers. However, the respondents involved in that survey were more evenly split in regards to believing in their energy firm's transparency when dealing with customers.

A third of those surveys believed that they could trust their energy firm, whereas just over a third (39%) said they distrusted it. Over a quarter (28%) could not decide.

Ipsos MORI Reputation Centre Director, Robert Knight, said: "This study underlines the critical importance of trust to the energy industry and the way it impacts on the industry's 'licence to operate' in Britain.

The energy companies need to keep MPs updated on the various industry initiatives, that are designed to address these issues."

The survey involved face to fave interviews with 92 MPs; 39 Conservatives, 39 Labour, 10 Lib Dem and three from other parties.

The interviews were conducted across the period of June 8 to August 14 2012 with the data weighted to be representative of the House by party allegiance and also front or back bench status. The report was officially published last week.

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