LONDON (SHARECAST) - Ofgem, the regulator of the gas and electricity markets, plans to force energy suppliers to inform householders about their cheapest deals and greatly simplify the number of pricing plans on offer as part of what the industry watchdog is calling the biggest shake-up of the market for domestic energy for more than a decade.
Chief Executive of Ofgem, Alistair Buchanan, said: "Our plans will put an end to consumers being confused by complex tariffs and will usher in a simpler, clearer, fairer and more competitive energy market for all consumers. We have spoken to thousands of consumers who have helped us shape this package through a period of extensive consumer research, and are very grateful for their input.
"I am glad to say suppliers have already responded with some initiatives, but these don't go far enough. Ofgem is determined to press forward with proposals to deliver for consumers the most far-reaching shakeup of the retail energy market since competition was introduced."
Ofgem is extending its proposals to simplify tariff structures and limit core tariff numbers across the whole market, while still allowing consumers choice. It is also proposing to make suppliers tell customers about the cheapest tariff they have on offer.
Additionally, it intends to work with suppliers to trial a proposal to provide vulnerable consumers and those who haven't switched for a long time with information about the cheapest tariff for them across the whole market.
Ofgem is proposing simplifying the market by limiting each supplier to no more than four core tariffs for each fuel and ensuring all tariffs are expressed as a standing charge and single unit price. Dual fuel discounts will be presented separately as an additional stand alone option available to all consumers when choosing a tariff from a supplier. They will be expressed in pounds and pence rather than as a percentage to give consumers greater clarity, and must be the same across all tariffs. All other discounts will count as separate tariffs towards the cap.