Bridget Phillipson MPOver the course of the last week, we’ve seen four of the big six energy companies announce a further round of price hikes.

Energy bills have gone through the roof in the last two years.When bills rise, the energy giants tell us they us they are passing on their costs.

But when wholesale prices come down, customers notice little change. Many people don’t have access to the internet and the cheapest tariffs.

Even if you do, finding the best deal is time consuming and at times seems impossible. Switching is at its lowest ever level, with consumers unconvinced that they can find a better deal by shopping around.

There is a serious lack of transparency over costs and profits. The regulator Ofgem has failed to get tough with energy providers.

It is families and pensioners who have suffered. Labour is calling for a new regulator with greater powers to take on the vested interests in the energy industry and make sure that households aren’t ripped off.

This article was originally published in the Sunderland Echo on 24th October 2012.

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