Gas and electricity Updated:
Yesterday marked one year until the next UK General Election takes place, and that's got a lot of people thinking about what they'd like to see on party manifestos. Well, according to research from energyhelpline.com, freezing energy prices easily makes the list – perhaps unsurprising giving the rapid rate of price rises in recent years.
Respondents to the survey were asked what, if they were campaigning to be Prime Minister, would be their key policies. Although cutting bankers' bonuses topped the list at 49.5%, having an energy price freeze took second place, with 41.5% of respondents saying it would be on their manifesto.
Two other energy policies given as options were increased competition between energy suppliers (favoured by 24.6% of respondents) and green issues (14.3%), and although these were significantly behind the price freeze in terms of priorities, they certainly weren't at the bottom of the list.
Mark Todd, co-founder of energyhelpline, commented:
"This research clearly identifies that the British people are most in favour of an energy price freeze as a key Government policy. More competition between energy suppliers is favoured by many but lags well behind, and green issues are garnering little support as a priority with only 1 in 7 in favour of prioritising them."
Incidentally, an energy price freeze is a key campaign issue of the Labour Party, which could suggest that Labour is edging ahead – at least in terms of energy policy. "It looks like Ed Miliband is currently winning the hearts and minds of the British public with his simple policy to freeze energy price rises," said Mr Todd.
However, there are concerns that a pre-emptive price rise could be on the cards for next winter if it looks like he'll win the next election, with suppliers wanting to increase their rates before they're forced to freeze them.
Nonetheless, after four years of price rises it looks like energy policy could be a key battleground in the next election, with consumers hoping that their fears will be addressed and prices will stop their excessive hikes – be it through increased competition, a focus on green energy or by freezing prices.
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