Consumers will be able to switch energy suppliers in just three days by the end of the year under radical new switching rules unveiled by Ofgem today.
In the latest assault by the regulator on high gas and electricity prices, Ofgem has said the new system will boost consumers’ confidence to vote with their feet if bills are too high.
“Consumers can change their bank in seven days, their mobile phone in just a couple but have to wait significantly longer to switch their energy supplier,” said Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem. “We know that consumers want a reliable and efficient switching process and that concerns about it going wrong can put them off shopping around for a better deal. So following the steps we have made to make the market simpler, clearer, fairer, we are now leading a programme which will deliver faster, more reliable switching.”
Under the current system, it takes around five weeks to switch energy suppliers, including a statutory two week “cooling off” period in which consumers can return to their previous company.
Ofgem has said the cooling off period will stay but switching must take place three days after the two weeks have ended. The regulator said it wants to introduce next day switching by 2018.