“There’s a lot of demystifying to do,” warns utility chief

The public are still confused about the reasons behind energy price rises, the chief executive officer of Wales and West Utilities has claimed.

Speaking today at Utility Week’s Wales energy conference in Cardiff, Graham Edwards, said people are still “very confused about what are the real drivers for energy prices”.

“We all read the newspapers and watch the television and think what really influences it?” Edwards told delegates.

“Are retailers ripping off the public? What’s the real cost of energy going forward? I think there’s a lot of demystifying to do there.

“I hear all the stuff that comes out from BEIS about support by the public for renewables going forward, but what is never talked about is the cost of some of these things.

“There needs to be a more honest debate about what energy is going to cost, going into the future,” added Edwards.

He also said utilities firms should not “forget the customer service agenda”.

“Utilities don’t have the best reputation in the world for customer service,” admitted Edwards. “Well, we [Wales and West Utilities] are certainly punching above our weight on this agenda in this arena. We really are up there with some of the UK leading lights in customer service.”

The chief executive also warned going forward there was “no silver bullet”, and that a “multi-vector approach” was needed.

“All the energy sources for here [in Wales],” he said. “The challenge for me is how do we join all that up into a coherent strategy? And going back to customers again, how do customers benefit from this in one of the most fuel poor parts of the UK?”