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Energy price freezes 'cynical ploy'

Consumers no longer believe energy price freezes are good enough, with more than two-thirds saying they are simply tactical measures, a poll has found.

The majority of consumers (57%) believe freezes keep prices high and said bills needed to come down, while 54% said an offer of a price freeze had no impact on their opinion of an energy company, according to the survey for collective bargaining website ThisIsTheBigDeal.com.

More than two-thirds of consumers (69%) doubted the motives of suppliers, 65% did not trust them to deliver on the deal and 61% said a price freeze was not enough to encourage them to switch.

The survey followed British Gas freezing its prices for the rest of the year and SSE announcing it would freeze prices until 2016.

The average dual fuel bill has more than doubled since 2005 to £1,294, according to figures from Consumer Futures.

ThisIsTheBigDeal co-founder Henry de Zoete said: "After years of price rises and runaway profits it's no wonder that the public sees price freezes by the Big Six for what they are: a cynical ploy to make themselves look good while keeping their profits soaring.

"People need and want price cuts, not price freezes."

:: Populus surveyed 1,050 adults online on April 9-10.

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