Clarification Needed Following OFGEM Report, Says Confused.com's Gareth Kloet

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Confused.com's Head of Utilities flags up mixed messages following OFGEM's latest Quarterly Electricity and Gas Supply Market Report

The Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) has released its Quarterly Electricity and Gas Supply Market Report, which suggests that energy suppliers are now making even more money off the back of a cold winter.

With wholesale energy prices falling, profit margins are estimated to now be up to £105 for a dual fuel customer, £30 more than the £75 figure OFGEM reported in November. This increase comes despite British Gas recently cutting gas prices by 7% - passing on £55 savings to customers - without which profits would be closer to the previously forecast £120 per customer.

In real terms the report illustrates that customers are paying less, on average, than 12 months ago. However, if the remaining five of the big six suppliers followed British Gas in cutting prices, customers would have enjoyed additional savings while profits would still have been at their November '09 level of £75.

Gareth Kloet, Confused.com's Head of Utilities, said: "With this report OFGEM have raised pressure on suppliers to cut their electricity and gas prices, but with regulations as they stand, they are not currently obliged to do so."

"While it is useful for OFGEM to produce stats on the state of the Energy market and current prices, today's message seem to fly in the face of earlier statements. With an apparent need to upgrade our infrastructure to meet future demands, OFGEM need to be clear - do they want suppliers to cut retail prices for the masses now or invest in the development we are told is needed for the future? In the absence of stronger regulation suppliers can only continue to do as they see fit."

With this in mind, customers cannot rely on their current provider cutting their standard price and, in order to protect themselves from paying too much, must take matters into their own hands. Opting for online tariffs and paying by direct debit are two of the ways of taking control."

For further information please contact:
Press Office
Confused.com
02920 434 398

Notes to editors

About Confused.com:
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com has all of the 'big six' energy providers on its panel, customers can save £250* on their annual energy bill by switching with Confused.com

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com's service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.

*Confused.com customers saved an average of £252.37 on their annual energy bill in 2008.

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