16 Jun 2014
From the end of this year the time it takes to switch energy supplier will be cut to just three days after the statutory two week cooling off period after Ofgem approved suppliers’ proposals to speed up the process.
The changes coming in at the end of 2014 mean that once the customer signs up with a new supplier they will still have the 14-day cooling off period, with the switch completing three days after. Ofgem has been working with suppliers and DECC to speed up switching times.
Ofgem has also today published new proposals to make the switching process more reliable and put next day switching in place by the end of 2018 at the latest. This will be made possible by replacement of the IT systems used in the switching process, which were originally developed in the 1990s. These changes represent a significant modernisation of infrastructure which will help consumers take full advantage of the benefits of smart meters, and pave the way for reliable, fast and easy switching for all.
Dermot Nolan, Ofgem’s CEO, said: “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. 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 now that we have taken steps to make the market simpler, clearer, fairer, we are leading a programme which will deliver faster, more reliable switching.
“We hope this will give consumers more confidence to get out there and start shopping around. You can save upwards of £200 by changing supplier and independent advice is available from the Be An Energy Shopper website at www.goenergyshopping.co.uk.”
Currently switches take around five weeks, including a statutory upfront 14-day cooling off period (see notes to editors). And from this August, new Ofgem rules come into force meaning suppliers could face investigation and fines if they cannot meet these timescales.
Story appears courtesy of Ofgem.