Energy suppliers to offer ‘best deal’ on tariffs

All major energy suppliers have agreed to an initiative which will oblige them to always offer consumers the best deal.

The government says that this new commitment will put people in control of their energy bills and potentially save them money, by making sure they can easily find the best tariff for them.

It adds that this new initiative will protect consumers and help build trust in energy markets.

The new measures include:

• If a customer contacts a supplier and asks to be put on the best tariff, the supplier will help them identify, and then provide, the best available tariff for that customer to suit their needs at that moment in time and based on the information provided.

• When a fixed term contract is coming to the end of its term, the supplier will write to the customer to help them identify what the new best tariff options for them are and how to get them (by Autumn 2012).

• Suppliers will provide an annual communication to all customers helping them to identify what the best tariff options are for them and how to get them. This may be part of routine communications with the consumer, but must be clear and prominent if written (by Autumn 2012).

• Suppliers will 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 (from Autumn 2012).

• With Government, investigate the possibility of putting Quick Read (QR) codes on energy bills/annual statements to facilitate switching through mobile phones – by Spring 2013.

• Pass across historic consumption data to a customer’s new supplier when they switch, as permitted by existing industry data flows.