The plans were announced by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who added that he still wanted to see energy companies offer 24-hour switching in the near future.
Davey also called on consumers not to wait for the new measures to be implemented before switching, as many households can save hundreds of pounds with a simple switch.
At present, both Ovo Energy and First Utility are offering sub-£1,000* annual deals, the cheapest seen for the past two years.
One day switching remains the objective
Speaking on the issue he said: “I’m pleased the industry has responded to my challenge and will now cut in half the time it takes to switch energy supplier.
“Delivering this by the end of this year is a challenge in itself but with the technical code changes with Ofgem for final approval, firms now have the time to change their IT systems and I’m reassured they can manage the remaining practical issues.”
“While it’s great news we are making energy switching twice as fast, my long-term ambition remains to get to 24-hour switching,” he added.
24-hour switching times are likely to be facilitated by the plans to roll out smart meters across the UK. Energy supplies are expected to roll out smart meters to the majority of Brits by 2020.
*Based on a medium usage customer using 3,200 kWh of electricity and 13,500 kWh of gas paying by direct debit with bill sizes averaged across all regions.