If only it were as simple as switching energy supplier.
The Government's headline plan to help consumers facing high energy costs is a good move. Cutting the time it takes to switch to a lower cost supplier should encourage people to change and help them save, in some cases, hundreds of pounds. Energy Secretary Ed Davey rightly wants to see the time cut from five weeks to 24 hours.
The plan has merit and is overdue. The phenomenon of energy suppliers taking weeks about it when consumers want to change provider is a cause of frustration and anger, and only adds to the general impression of these companies as cynically self-serving.
Unfortunately, however, it will take a bit more than this to wrestle down energy bills.
The problem is that the Government is relying on competition among the Big Six to get prices down. If customers can switch more easily, the Government trusts, it will stimulate a price war. Ministers foresee consumers abandoning high-charging firms in their droves for others offering better deals. Ultimately, everyone's a winner.
The trouble is, of course, that the Big Six providers have never behaved like market traders trying to undercut one another on a punnet of strawberries and are not likely to start doing so even now.
Given the howls of outrage each year that accompany their autumn price hikes, one might have expected at least one by now to grab the opportunity to undercut the competition, but it has never happened. When one of the six announces a huge price rise, it is only a matter of time before the others follow suit.
The suspicion remains that they could offer better deals but choose not to. The firms claim that high wholesale costs force their hands, but that seems questionable. Only this week, the managing director of one of the smaller energy suppliers, Ovo, told a parliamentary committee he was confused by the big firms' explanation of higher prices, noting that the most expensive price Ovo paid for wholesale gas in the last four years was in May 2011 and that since then it has been less.
The worry is that even the best tariffs offered by the Big Six are more expensive than they should be.
To reduce costs, it is essential to start by pinning down exactly how these companies are spending customers' money - how much is going on wholesale, how much on tax, how much in profit and so on - and to attract in more new suppliers who will offer real competition.
The Government is trying. Other measures announced yesterday give the Big Six suppliers a poke in the ribs, with the threat of worse if they fail to comply with government demands.
There will be consultation on introducing criminal sanctions for any company that is caught manipulating the energy market, an investigation of companies' finances to make them more transparent on prices and profits, a look at barriers to new suppliers entering the market and annual "competition reviews" to uncover any wrongdoing.
All this is sensible, but it is unlikely to have any impact on prices this winter. There have also been plenty of reviews before (the last ended in June)so consumers may doubt the value of yet more. It is Labour that has set the height of the bar in this contest with its price freeze promise.
Voters may agree with the shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint that tougher action is required. Labour wants all electricity openly bought and sold and a tough new watchdog empowered to force companies to cut their prices when wholesale costs fall. Consumers may well say "why not?"
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