Energy regulator Ofgem will introduce three day switching as part of its campaign to create a simpler, clearer and fairer energy market.
At present, changing provider can take up to six weeks. This time frame includes a two week cooling-off period, which will remain in force following the introduction of the new rules. Energy suppliers will have to ensure switches are completed three days after the cooling down period has elapsed.
Ofgem also announced plans to introduce one day switching by 2018.
Ofgem: ‘Faster, more reliable switching’
Speaking on the announcement, Chief Executive of Ofgem Dermot Nolan 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 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.”
‘Exactly the sort of game-changer that is needed’
Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch Ann Robinson said: “Today’s announcement is exactly the sort of game-changer that is needed to encourage consumers to engage with the energy market. By speeding up the time it takes to switch energy supplier, households will feel the benefits of moving to a new tariff even sooner.
“With half of households yet to switch their energy supplier, it is clear there are barriers that need to be broken down. For many of these, it will be a question of confidence and fear of the unknown. However, measures such as those outlined today should improve this and provide people with greater reassurance.”
Move should lead to more switches
“We’ve already seen the impact the introduction of seven-day switching has had on the current account market – with switching activity increasing by 14% since last September – and would hope to see a similar level of engagement as a result of streamlining switching in the energy market,” added Robinson.