London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — April 16, 2012 – Starting in the autumn the “big six” energy suppliers in Britain will be required to write to their customers each year to inform them of the best tariff options for them and how to get them.
Further, suppliers will be required to write a similar letter to customers when a fixed term contract is coming to an end.
These were among a number of measures announced last week by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, following an agreement with the big six suppliers – EDF, E.On, British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power and nPower. The aim is to give people greater control over their energy bills.
Other measures that were announced are that on request, the supplier will help a customer identify, and then provide, the best available tariff to suit their needs at that moment in time and based on the information provided.
Suppliers will also provide a second communication each year for most vulnerable customers assisted by the Warm Home Discount helping them on to the best tariff for them.
In addition, all major energy suppliers confirmed their support for collective purchasing arrangements and committed to respond to requests to participate in such schemes within a reasonable timeframe. They also reaffirmed their 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.”
Clegg also noted that from the summer, a new project will be trialed with First Utility and Opower where consumers are told how much energy other, similar households use.