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Proposals aim to make the energy market clearer and fairer

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 October 2012 at 9:22 am

Simpler, clearer and fairer is how Ofgem describes its proposals to reform the energy market. It aims to put an end to the confusion of complex (impenetrably so in most cases) tariffs, thus making the market more competitive.

Ofgem is proposing simplifying the market by limiting each supplier to no more than four core tariffs for each fuel, and making sure that they are expressed as a standing charge and a single unit price. This means that customers will be able to compare like with like and make informed decisions.

Dual fuel discounts will not count as a core tariff, but will be presented as a discount. They will be available to all customers, and will be expressed in pounds and pence, not percentages.

Suppliers will be required to give all customers personalised information on what is the cheapest tariff for them. It will also require suppliers to use a new tariff comparison rate, so that it's easy to compare. It is also proposing personalised estimates with customer usage, to help people compare tariffs more accurately when switching.

In an attempt to build trust in the energy market, Ofgem will introduce new enforceable standards of conduct, so that it can take action against suppliers who fail to treat their customers fairly. It will also ban practices where people are rolled onto further fixed term contracts without their consent.

These measures are currently under consultation. It aims to start introducing the reforms by summer 2013. More details of the proposals can be found here.

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