Independent supplier First Utility is set to cut switching times for its new customers from five to two and a half weeks.
The move is a result of new regulations which require all energy suppliers to allow consumers to deliver faster switching by the end of this year. First Utility is enabling faster switching as of the 10 November, ahead of the majority of other suppliers and regardless of whether the original supplier is ready.
The switching process includes a 14-day cooling off period, during which time a prospective customer can decide to cancel a switch, as per EU law.
Davey: A step towards 24 hour switching
Energy Secretary, Ed Davey spoke of his satisfaction at shorter switching times: “I wanted to make it faster and easier for people to switch so they can save money on their energy bills – First Utility’s ‘Fix the Switch’ campaign has helped make this a reality.
He added that his long term ambition was to cut switching times to just 24 hours, to make it quicker and simpler for consumers to save on their energy bills.
Ian McCaig, CEO of First Utility commented: “This is an important milestone for the industry. After 16 years with the same process, the actions of a challenger provider bringing fresh thinking have been able to introduce meaningful change that will have a tangible benefit for consumers.”
‘Now is the time to take control of our energy bills’
According to energy regulator Ofgem, 40% of homes have never switched energy supplier. It is hoped that faster switching times will encourage more homes to make the change and save hundreds of pounds.
Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, Ann Robinson, said: “Faster, easier switching will encourage consumers to go energy shopping and get themselves a better deal.
“Now is the time to take control of our energy bills by using less, wasting less and paying less, so keeping warm this winter will be more affordable.”