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Energy companies 'admit their faults'

A new report has stated that several energy companies have anonymously admitted to failing their customers.

Set to be released later this week, pollsters of the YouGov study entitled Energy, Politics and the Consumer were told that individuals were deliberately given poor service.

People's bills were also made confusing on purpose in order to make it difficult for them to know what the real costs of gas and electricity were, the Daily Mail reports.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer group Which?, said: "It would be deeply worrying if energy industry leaders didn’t recognise the dire state of distrust they face.

"Our latest consumer survey shows satisfaction in this market has plummeted to a new low."

Officials from SSE, E.ON UK and RWE, three of the Big Six energy firms in the UK, were questioned for the study.

YouGov pollsters were told: "Customers were taken for granted, service was poor and no one bothered to explain the situation to them."

The report said: "The industry broadly accepts it helped to create the political opportunity that Miliband seized."

Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to freeze energy prices for 24 months if he is elected into power next year, while SSE recently announced their own plans not to raise costs for 18 months.

Industry regulator Ofgem revealed last week that it had asked the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the sector.

After an initial analysis, Ofgem found that it was likely the Big Six co-ordinated on prices in order to stifle competition from smaller firms.

They noted that prices were quick to rise when they supposedly needed to, but when the chance to reduce costs came up energy firms were slower to react.

Ofgem revealed that the Big Six had combined profits of approximately £1.2 billion in 2012, an increase of 410 per cent since 2009.

Tom Greatrex, shadow energy minister for Labour, said that these revelations by the industry backed up everything his party had been saying in recent years.

Posted by Paul Taylor