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Energy: Prices

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many representations he has received on the clarity of information on energy bills and tariffs since the Ofgem Energy Supply Probe was launched in February 2008. (283276)

To provide an exact count of all items of correspondence or other communications received by Ministers in the last 17 months referring to information for energy consumers and/or tariffs could be provided only at disproportionate cost, since that information is not held centrally.

DECC believes that it is vital that consumers have access to the best possible information on bills and tariffs. The detailed provisions relating to energy bills and tariffs are a matter for the independent regulator Ofgem who has consulted widely on new measures to improve the clarity and nature of billing and tariff information available to consumers. Ofgem is currently considering consultation responses and working with consumer bodies including Which and Consumer Focus and with other organisations to develop new rules.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will discuss with energy supply companies the development of green energy tariffs designed to meet the needs of older people. (284125)

Ministers discuss with energy suppliers various measures to support renewable energy and energy efficiency. Ministers are open to representations about how best to meet the needs of different groups of consumers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of trends in domestic energy prices; and if he will make a statement. (285570)

Global energy demand and wholesale prices have fallen since peaks last year. It is essential that falls in wholesale costs reach consumers. This is why we asked Ofgem to provide quarterly reports on price movements.

Ofgem's most recent report found that margins are around historic levels, and falls in costs appear to be being passed on to consumers. We expect suppliers to continue to pass on any sustained falls in wholesale costs.