Energy watchdog welcomes 30 day price rule

Ofgem’s move to bring in new rules that mean energy suppliers must give consumers at least 30 days notice before putting up their prices has been welcomed by watchdog Consumer […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Ofgem’s move to bring in new rules that mean energy suppliers must give consumers at least 30 days notice before putting up their prices has been welcomed by watchdog Consumer Focus.

Yesterday Ofgem revealed that the new rule would come into effect on April 28 – giving the suppliers themselves 30 days’ notice.

Today Audrey Gallacher, head of energy at Consumer Focus, said: “This long-awaited move should help customers to budget for any price rises and make informed decisions early on about whether to switch supplier.”

And she added that other moves proposed by Ofgem in its price review last week “should also make it easier for customers to compare energy tariffs and switch to a better deal”.

“The challenge is now for energy firms to step-up to the challenge of improving the market and for the regulator to keep the spotlight on them until they do.”

Yesterday, Ofgem’s senior partner for markets Andrew Wright said the 30-day rule “shows we are serious about making sure suppliers play it straight with consumers”.

“We believe that 30 days advance notification of price increases, coupled with our new proposals for more transparency and an end to complex tariffs, will give consumers more power to make informed switching choices.”

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne praised the new rule. “It’s only right that consumers are told in advance of energy price increases. Most companies heard what government and Ofgem were saying and gave their customers some advance notice when bills went up recently.

“These new rules from Ofgem will mean that everyone will now get a fair deal and will know at least 30 days in advance before any bill increases kick in.”