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Ofgem to seek views on price increase issues

16 February 2010

Ofgem, the energy regulator, is to publish a consultation on price increases with a bid to see customers better informed about price alterations.

The discussion is set to be launched after Ofgem voiced concerns that current regulations mean suppliers can inform customers of price changes up to 65 days after they come into effect.

Commenting on the situation, Scott Byrom, utilities manager at comparison website moneysupermaket.com, said: "The current situation is a huge worry for British bill payers; it allows over two months 'grace period' for the energy giants to notify customers of a price hike which is far too long.

"Without doubt this is not 'best practice' and notifying customers in advance of a price rise would be the better option and much fairer to consumers."

Concerns about the regulation of energy price increases could be of particular concern to elderly people as they spend a larger proportion of their income on heating bills.

These worries could lead to rise in the popularity of schemes such as equity release which can help homeowners meet their financial demands with money taken from the value of their property.