Six o’Clock News, Radio 4, 25 October 2017: Finding by the Executive Complaints Unit

Complaint
The bulletin included a report on the independent review of energy costs commissioned by the Government from Professor Dieter Helm. A listener complained that the statement that domestic energy bills “had doubled in the last decade”, which occurred in the headline and the body of the report, was wrong.

Outcome
Energy prices rose only slightly over the decade, while average domestic bills (which reflect variations in consumption) fell in real terms.  The statement complained of was therefore materially misleading.
Upheld

Further action
The business team have been reminded of the need to be accurate in their use of statistics, even when a generalised statement about a particular trend is made.