The supplier which first publicly called on energy companies to ditch auto-rollovers, E.ON, has announced it is scrapping auto-rollover contracts for small to medium sized businesses (SMEs).
More than a month after rival British Gas stole a march on the German-owned firm, it has finally decided to end the controversial contracts for new and existing customers from 1 April 2014.
It’s the fourth supplier to ban the charges, with SSE and npower also ditching them. French energy giant EDF has taken a different tactic, retaining rollovers but allowing customers to bail out of the contract without charge.
Anthony Ainsworth, Sales and Marketing Director of E.ON UK said: “We know from our own business customer panel and from independent research that the majority of small businesses just don’t like the automatic rollover process and find it too complex.
“So, we’re making it clear for our customers; at the end of your contract you can either renegotiate a new deal or we will move you on to our cheapest variable rate product. We’d really encourage customers to give us a call so we can help them find what’s best for them.”
E.ON says it already has a get-out clause in its existing contracts, adding that between now and April it will be reminding its SME customers on fixed term contracts to opt out.
Customers who choose not to take a new fixed term contract once their existing contract expires will be moved onto E.ON’s cheapest variable rate tariff, which includes a 30 day notice period and no exit fee.
The supplier is also trimming down the 90 day period which customers have previously had to negotiate their new contracts.
Mr Ainsworth added: “Having listened to customer feedback we are extending the time for customers to negotiate a new deal to 30 days ahead of their current contract end date, allowing them even more time to ensure they can find the best deal for them.”