UK Prime Minister lives up to his promise to simplify energy tariffs

Posted at November 24, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK Prime Minister lives up to his promise to simplify energy tariffs

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined measures to ensure that consumers get the lowest energy tariff after surprising colleagues with the announcement last month.

The proposals will limit energy suppliers to offer just four ‘core’ tariffs per fuel and require bills to be made simpler for customers.

Energy companies will have to offer customers personalised information on the cheapest tariff on offer and take households off more expensive ‘dead’ tariff automatically in favour of the cheapest suitable tariff.

Currently, there is a bewildering array of over 400 tariffs on offer, with some £300 difference between the highest and lowest, according to government figures.

“The Prime Minister promised to take action to get people the lowest tariffs and he has delivered,” said Energy Minister Greg Barker in a statement. “[The] announcement marks the end of confusing tariffs that cost too much.”

The new measures will be included in the forthcoming Energy Bill, which is due out any day, and should be implemented by summer 2014 at the latest.

“For too long people have been stuck on the wrong type of energy tariff, paying more than they need to. Our new proposals will make things much clearer and easier to understand, so that bill payers can get the best deal and feel the benefit in their pockets,” adds Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

But E.ON UK says UK consumers don’t have to wait until 2014. In a statement, chief executive Tony Cocker claims that the company has cut its number of tariffs to five and made them simpler and easier to compare.

“In the last three years, around three quarters of our customers have either changed their tariff with us or joined us from another company so it is beyond doubt that the majority of our customers are already choosing what’s best for them,” he says.

But Cocker urged the government to ensure that its “various schemes” are as cost effective as possible to limit future bill increases.

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Related stories:
Ofgem unveils its plans for a fairer energy market (19-Oct)
UK energy firms have to put customers on lowest tariff… or will they? (18-Oct)
UK consumer group Which? calls for energy price review (17-Oct)
UK Energy Secretary tells consumers how to save on energy bills (15-Oct)

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