Pre-contractual information in retail energy markets – Experimental Consumer Research – October 2018

Practice area: Behavioural and experimental economics | Behavioural Economics | Consumer and firm behaviour | Consumer behaviour and protection | Energy
Client: EC DG Justice and Consumers
Published: 06 November, 2018
Keywords: qualitative analysis quantitative analysis

The European Commission commissioned LE Europe, Deloitte and Ipsos to study pre-contractual information in retail energy markets. The study used desk research, stakeholder consultations, a consumer survey and a behavioural experiment to understand consumers’ decision-making, attitudes and switching behaviour, and how to improve clarity and comparability in energy prices, consumption and contractual information. The study found evidence that consumers better understand energy bills with carefully-designed ‘comparability’ boxes extracting key information relevant to switching and comparing deals; consumers are more willing to switch if they understand the benefits of switching, and are more likely to compare alternative energy deals and choose the cheaper deal when the effort of searching for alternative deals is reduced.