New clauses in Energy Bill to give consumers better deals

The Government has added new clauses to the Energy Bill that includes simplifying and reducing the number of energy tariffs currently available. The move is part of DECC’s aim to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Government has added new clauses to the Energy Bill that includes simplifying and reducing the number of energy tariffs currently available.

The move is part of DECC’s aim to ensure consumers get a better deal on their energy bills and to press ahead with decarbonising the power sector by 2030.

It follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s commitment last year to help consumers get the cheapest tariff available in the market.

DECC said bills will include clear information on the savings consumers can make by switching and more competition, choice and innovation will be encouraged in the market.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “I am determined to ensure that consumers get the cheapest tariff they can. So we will amend the Energy Bill to reduce the bamboozling array of tariffs available on the market and to simplify bills whilst continuing to work with Ofgem to deliver a simpler, more competitive market. We will also take powers to set a decarbonisation target range for the power sector in 2016, which will provide a clear signal to industry and investors that we are serious about moving to low-carbon economy.”

The trade association for the energy industry said it agrees with the Government’s “overall intention” and claims suppliers are already making it easier for consumers.

Angela Knight CBE, Chief Executive of Energy UK said: “We agree with the Government’s overall intention with these amendments. But we will need to look at the detail of what is proposed to make sure that there are no unintended consequences to the drafted primary legislation. It is clear that these amendments will send a strong signal to industry and the investor community about the direction that Government wishes the market to take.

“Energy companies have been listening to what their customers want and have already made tariffs simpler and easier to compare. They are now much fewer in number and it is easy to switch from one company to another.”

Consumer body Which?, however, said more needs to be done. Executive Director Richard Lloyd said: “The Government’s proposals for energy tariff reform will not do enough to fix the broken energy market without more radical action to increase competition. We want the Government to introduce a single unit price for energy that would apply to all tariffs to allow people to spot the cheapest deal at a glance.”