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UK energy regulator confirms new rules to make switching easier

Staff Writer |
UK households will be able to switch energy supplier direct from price comparison sites and also access previously hidden cheap deals as part of new rules imposed by the UK energy regulator.

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That also include a new 'safeguard tariff' to prevent vulnerable consumers from overpaying for their energy.

Price comparison websites currently do not show consumers all the cheapest deals available from energy companies, but under the rule changes consumers will be able to switch from these sites and also see other deals that they cannot switch to directly by clicking a button on the comparison website, or by visiting the Citizens Advice website.

The changes and a raft of new trials follow a two-year investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority that was reported in June 2016.

Ofgem will trial a 'check your energy deal' online switching service to help customers on the worst deals for three years or more - usually the standard variable tariffs - to find cheaper deals.

This new trial service will quickly and easily show how much households can save just by entering their home address and name of their current supplier, while also enable easy switching of suppliers.

A separate trial will see Ofgem write to groups of customers including those not online and vulnerable consumers to tell them about cheaper offers from alternative suppliers and prompting them to shop around and switch tariff.

The regulator also announced proposals to impose a £150 cap on the amount energy companies can charge customers for forcibly installing pre-payment meters when customers do not pay their energy bills and to ban these charges altogether for vulnerable consumers.

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