51% 'do not trust energy suppliers'

More than half of Britons don't trust energy suppliers amid widespread confusion and anxiety about bills, a survey has found.

51% of 10,000 adults said they did not trust any energy supplier, a poll for SMCDB found
51% of 10,000 adults said they did not trust any energy supplier, a poll for SMCDB found

Some 51% of 10,000 adults said they did not trust any energy supplier, with this rising to 57% of those living in fuel poverty or with a disability, the poll for the government-created Smart Meter Central Delivery Body (SMCDB) found.

More than a third (37%) are concerned that their energy bills are not accurate, and 41% are worried that they pay for more energy than they consume.

A tenth (10%) did not know how much they were paying for energy and more than third (36%) said they did not understand their energy bill.

The survey revealed that more than two-fifths (43%) of consumers do not believe they have the information they need to choose the right energy tariff, while almost as many (39%) were not confident they had enough information to select the right supplier.

Almost half (44%) of those polled said they were interested in having a smart meter installed in their homes.

SMCDB chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: "Our research shows that more than half of the population feel they cannot trust any energy supplier.

"In an era when we are able to compare, record and track our household spending more easily than ever before, two in five of us have no idea whether we're paying too much for our energy. Antiquated systems for recording energy use and managing billing are no longer fit for purpose.

"Households need to be able to take control of their energy use and bills. For this to happen, the national smart meter roll-out is the essential transformation of the technology we use to buy energy.

"It will create newly empowered consumers, and increase trust in those who sell us gas and electricity, and our research bears this out.

"Today, still over a year ahead of the start of the mass roll-out of smart meters, almost half of consumers told us that they are interested in having a smart meter installed in their homes.

"That is why it is so important that government is driving forward the programme to install smart meters across Great Britain and has brought together all the electricity and gas suppliers and networks to deliver this critical upgrade to the energy infrastructure in all of our homes."

Populus surveyed 10,033 British adults between March 31 and April 13.