Energy companies will be forced to tell their customers about cheaper deals from rival suppliers under plans outlined by the regulator Ofgem. A trial involving several thousand households will run over the summer and could be implemented nationally if Ofgem concludes it is a good way of encouraging customers to shop around. About two thirds of UK households are still on the standard variable tariffs of the so-called Big Six energy suppliers, even though they are often hundreds of pounds a year more expensive than the best deals on the market. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded last year that households were collectively paying up to £2 billion a year too much and recommended Ofgem try new ways of prompting them to shop around. Ofgem said yesterday that it would force energy companies to take part in a number of trials, including one in which suppliers will tell customers about the cheapest deals across the whole market, not just their own products as at present. In another trial expensive standard variable tariffs will be rebranded as “out-of-contract” tariffs.
Times 31st Jan 2017 read more »