Ofgem calls on energy suppliers to lower bills

Industry regulator Ofgem has addressed an open letter to the UK's six major energy suppliers calling for a reduction in energy bills in order to help poorer and vulnerable households.

Alistair Buchanan, chief executive of the body, demanded that providers work to bring down the price of heating ahead of the coming winter and also called on them to take responsibility for explaining how changing wholesale costs will affect billing.

This could prove particularly pertinent for over 50s, with research from Alliance Trust last month suggesting that older people spend proportionately more on utilities than other social groups.

Mr Buchanan said: "Wholesale costs have fallen from last year's peak and look set to fall further as we head into the winter. In a strong competitive market, we would expect prices to respond to such falls."

The regulator's calls were supported by watchdog group Consumer Focus, which called for "action not words" from suppliers in their response to Ofgem's requests.

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