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Government and Energy Suppliers Join Hands to Help Lower Bills

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that the UK Government and energy suppliers have committed to "put[ting] people in control of their energy bills by making sure that they can easily find and get the best deal for them". BCC News reports that British Gas, E.On, NPower, Scottish and Southern Energy, EDF and Scottish Power are part of the deal. Major suppliers have committed to a number of initiatives, as follows:

  • "on request, the supplier will help a customer identify, and then provide, the best available tariff to suit their needs at that moment in time and based on the information provided";
  • "the supplier will write to the customer to help them identify what the new best tariff options for them are and how to get them when a fixed term contract is coming to the end of its term";
  • "suppliers will provide an annual communication to all customers helping them to identify what the best tariff options are for them and how to get them. This may be part of routine communications with the consumer";
  • "suppliers will provide a second communication each year for most vulnerable customers assisted by the Warm Home Discount helping them on to the best tariff for them";
  • "support for a second and larger Big Energy Week 2, to be co-ordinated by Citizens Advice, to support outreach events in communities to connect consumers, particularly the vulnerable, with sources of help with their bills";
  • "with [the UK] Government, suppliers will investigate the possibility of putting [Quick Response] codes on energy bills/annual statements to facilitate switching through mobile phones";
  • "suppliers will pass across historic consumption data to a customer's new supplier when they switch, as permitted by existing industry data flows"; and
  • "suppliers will provide a second communication each year for the Warm Home Discount Scheme Broader Group customers (who receive a discount by law from their suppliers when meeting the suppliers' own criteria as approved by [the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets] e.g. including those on a low income with a disability, long term illness or with young children) and appropriate Warm Home Discount Scheme legacy customers (currently receiving social or discounted tariffs). This will be a total of around one million customers a year".

UK Deputy Prime Minister's media release (11 April 2012) BBC News: Energy firms to 'guarantee best deal' on tariffs (11 April 2012) (Source: UK Deputy Prime Minister; UK Department of Energy and Climate Change; BBC News)

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