[Re: A bureaucratic nightmare, Tuesday]
Stephen Littlechild overlooks the importance of Ofgem’s reforms to make the energy market simpler, clearer and fairer for consumers. Consumers told us they found the market confusing and that the number of tariffs on offer put them off shopping around. We have placed a limit of four core tariffs and banned complex tariffs and confusing discounts to make it easier for consumers to choose better deals. As Littlechild acknowledges, when suppliers come forward with tariffs which don’t fit our rules, we have allowed exceptions. We have told Ovo that we will consider its offer to pay 3 per cent interest to customers in credit as a special case. Suppliers can also offer additional fixed term tariffs into collective switching schemes. These can help large numbers of consumers to get more competitive deals. It’s vital that consumers feel confident to shop around. Those who have never switched could be missing out on savings of over £200 a year. We will announce a final decision on whether the market should be referred to the CMA for investigation this summer. If the market is referred, the investigation would take 18 months or more. During this time, consumers can benefit from reforms to get themselves a better deal. Independent advice on how to engage in the market can be found at www.goenergyshopping.co.uk
Rachel Fletcher, senior partner, markets, Ofgem
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