Where you have a bunch of crooked energy companies ripping off consumers for a decade or more you really do need to have recourse to a body with bite, such as the European Bureau of Consumer Affairs. The UK ombudsmen laughable in its effect and whilst the energy regulator has got its head around connecting consumer rates to the cost of production did not rebase the rate level to take into account the decade of rip-off prices. It should have looked at the cost of gas and electric ten years ago, compared it to today's cost and then worked out how much consumer prices should have risen over that period. Then used a multiple of energy prices, decreasing over time, to rebase the rates consumers pay before allowing any increases.
Absolutely no chance of any of that post-Brexit when lack of effective consumer rights will allow energy companies to rip people off left, right and centre... the latest scam is upping standing charges - akin to printing money for the energy companies - despite a need to reform the industry to reward low energy users not penalize them with ever higher standing charges.
Nationalizing them a waste of public money but shutting them all down in favour of a new system, worth thinking about - after all, these scammers don't actually own the grid that supplies electric and gas, nor do they directly own the companies that produce energy - all they do is sit in the middle, taking meter readings and employing vast numbers of people who don't seem to actually do anything worthwhile. A new generation of smart readers that let you pay with a debit card in your own home and then sends that payment direct to the grid owners would eliminate a whole, parasitic industry and give consumers a huge reduction in pricing, itself an ideal moment to get rid of standing charges and rebase the rates to encourage minimum usage.