Great Britain

Families will save on energy bills by being automatically swapped to cheapest tariff


FAMILIES will save hundreds of pounds on their bills by automatically being swapped onto the cheapest energy tariffs - as early as 2023.

Ministers will next month lay out the details of their radical plans, which will ban gas and electricity companies from whacking up bills when consumers don't shop around for better deals.

The new 'opt out' system will effectively kill the 'standard variable tariff' and slash bills for millions of loyal customers who can't or don't switch.

It would automatically switch them on to a lower or equivalent tariff, and won't penalise them if they forget their contract has ended and see their energy bills soar.

Standard tariffs tend to be more expensive as firms try to lure Brits away from their current supplier when their fixed-term deals end.

A consultation will launch in July to weigh up how best it will work.

The Big Six firms won't be expected to keep rolling over customer deals without a green light forever, but ministers will fire the starting gun on a "competitive process" to help consumers get a better deal.

The shake-up will take considerable planning but officials believe the new regulations could be in place as early as 2023.

One insider warned: "It's 25 million households, it's quite a complex thing to set up."

The consultation was originally scheduled for March 2021 but has been pushed back.

The plans would be the boldest intervention in the energy market since Theresa May moved to put a cap on standard tariffs in a bid to end "rip off" bills back in 2017.

Millions of Brits can soon afford to rip out boilers & install eco-heat pumps

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