Consumer group calls for end of heating bill overcharging

A consumer watchdog has called on energy companies to bring an end to systemic overcharging that could have serious repercussions for over 50s.

New research from Consumer Focus has revealed that energy customers are potentially paying a combined 1.66 billion more than they should in 2009 due to suppliers failing to pass savings on made on declining wholesale costs.

With recent research by Alliance Trust suggesting that over 50s spend a larger percentage of their household budgets on utilities than younger people, such amounts could make a significant difference to those already struggling due to the recession.

Philip Cullum, deputy chief executive of Consumer Focus, called on energy companies to "take immediate action to put things right for their customers. A failure to act and to ensure that people pay a fair price for energy could have serious consequences for the sector."

The watchdog also suggested that the government should intervene to ensure price-cuts should suppliers continue to refuse to pass on savings.

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