Switching your gas and electricity supplier is a great way to save money on your energy bills. However the process can be very confusing particularly if you are new to energy switching! Fortunately Ofgem, the energy regulator have created a new website and guide to show how their recent energy market reforms can help customers compare tariffs and ultimately get a better deal on gas and electricity bills. The website includes:
- New tools to help people compare the different tariffs
- A glossary explaining the language used on bills
- Links to other useful sites
- A downloadable guide which visitors can print off and read at their leisure, or pass on to family members who don’t have internet access
Ofgem is also responsible for the Confidence Code. This is a code of practice that governs independent energy price comparison sites. Sites accredited with the Confidence Code are independent, and the options and prices will be calculated and displayed in a fair and unbiased way. A list of the Ofgem approved price comparison sites can be found on their website.
Energy tariffs offered by suppliers have become simpler with clear information to enable easier energy switching. These changes include:
- Complex tiered tariffs will be banned and energy companies will only be allowed to have one structure for tariffs – a unit rate and standing charge. This will make tariffs more consistent and easier to compare.
- All energy suppliers will only have 4 core tariffs to choose from for electricity and gas so choosing a new deal will be easier.
- Cash discounts will be simplified so that energy companies will only be able to offer two cash discounts, one for dual fuel (where a consumer takes gas and electricity from the same supplier) and one for managing your account online.
- You will be told regularly in writing about the cheapest tariff available from your current energy supplier.
- You will receive more informative bills which will contain information about your tariff and how much energy you use. This will help you to compare other energy supplier tariffs if you want to switch suppliers. You will also receive an annual statement which will contain information about your energy tariff, including discounts, tariff end date, and whether any termination fees apply.
- When suppliers notify you of price increases, they will have to spell out what that means in pounds and pence. This will make it easier to understand the impact the change will have on you.