From Autumn 2012 the “big six” energy suppliers in the UK will be required to inform customers in writing each year of the best tariff options for them, and how to obtain them.
They will also be required to write customers to inform them of when a fixed rate contract is coming to an end.
This was announced by Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister, in addition to a number of other measures, including that on request the supplier will assist the customer to find, and then provide the best available tariff for that moment in time.
The six suppliers are E.On, British Gas, nPower, EDF, SSE, and Scottish Power and the aim is to give the customers greater control over their energy bills.
For more vulnerable customers, suppliers will give a second communication in the year assisted by the Warm Home Discount to help them on the best tariff for their needs.
All the major suppliers confirmed their support for collective purchasing arrangements and their commitment to respond to such requests in a reasonable timeframe, as well as the commitment to simplify tariffs.
“We have secured a landmark deal with the six big energy companies who cover 99 percent of customers, to give customers a guaranteed offer of the best tariff for them,” said Clegg. “Right now, seven out of 10 customers are on the wrong tariff for their needs – so paying too much. Yet people rarely switch, despite the fact some families could save over £100 a year. And there are currently over 120 different tariffs, making it very difficult to know where to start.”
A new project will be trialed in the summer with First Utility and Opower where customers are told how their energy use compares to other, similar households.