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Energy tariff reforms set to make things simpler

Energy tariff reforms set to make things simpler

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 03/01/2014
First Published: 02/01/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Changes to energy tariffs, intended to create a more transparent market and a simpler method of comparison for consumers, are set to come into force. The changes have come about as a result of the Retail Market Review which began in 2010, with industry regulator Ofgem hoping that the new rules will restore consumer confidence and lower prices.

Among the changes, Ofgem has banned energy suppliers from offering confusing and complex tariffs and has instead imposed a limit on suppliers to offer just four tariffs per customer for both gas and electricity, as well as simplifying how prices are charged to make bills clearer.

The reforms have been designed to rebuild trust and boost competition, something which can already be seen – there are far fewer deals on the market than previously and they're already much easier to compare. Energy UK, the body which represents suppliers, has even said the changes will help more people get a better deal on their energy.

Mark Todd, of independent comparison service, is equally as supportive:

"This is a positive start to 2014 for consumers who have faced a constant battle with energy suppliers over the past year… Ofgem's commitment to change is welcome. The banning of complex tariffs is a strong positive move and should mean simpler, more understandable bills."

However, there are still concerns that tariffs remain too complex for those looking to find the cheapest deal, which means further reforms (due to be introduced in April) will come into play – including forcing suppliers to explicitly tell their customers which of their tariffs are cheapest.

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