The Retail Market Review – creating a fairer, clearer energy sector for consumers
New rules will make energy simpler, fairer and clearer Energy UK said today. The reforms, set out in the Retail Market Review (RMR), come into force from 1 January 2014 and will help customers make better choices by comparing energy tariffs offered by suppliers.
The energy market will become simpler and fairer by the introduction of:
Energy companies will only have one structure for tariffs – a unit rate and standing charge, making tariffs more consistent and easier to compare.
There will only be four core tariffs per customer for both gas and electricity - making it easier for consumers to choose new deals. Cutting the number and complexity of energy tariffs will make comparing tariffs easier. Multi-tier tariffs will stop. The discounts suppliers add to energy tariffs will also be simpler and easier to understand.
Angela Knight CBE, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said
“Energy companies are working hard to make things better for customers are to rebuild trust. If you look at the market now, the deals are fewer in number and much easier to compare. Customers will see improvements to the information they get as a result of energy companies brining in the changes set out in the Retail Market Review and this should help people get the best deal for them."
Key reforms for December 2013 – changes for the New Year
Simpler tariffs, easier choices
By 31 December 2013 all tariffs on offer will have a simpler structure and each customer will only have to choose from four per supplier. This will make it easier to compare tariffs and chose the one that is best for you.
Treating Customers Fairly statement
Energy suppliers are making lots of improvements to their customer service. By 31 December 2013 all suppliers will be publishing new information on what they have done and what is in the pipeline. You will be able to find these on your supplier’s website. Customers should check them out to see what standards they should expect from their supplier.
The changes don’t stop there. There are other improvements around the corner. Look out for more information nearer the time.
Then by 31 March 2013
Energy companies are making improvements by the way they connect with consumers. They will now publish yearly statements showing what actions they are taking to treat customers fairly.
New comparison tools
By 31 March 2014 three new comparison tools will be introduced into the market to help you compare deals.
- Tariff Comparison Rate
The new Tariff Comparison Rate or “TCR”, which is a bit like the APR for interest rates, will enable you to compare tariff prices at a glance. The TCR is measured in pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) and based on the consumption of a medium user.
- Personal Projection
The new Personal Projection will be used to estimate what you will pay on a tariff based on your own usage or your supplier’s best estimate of it. You will get a Personal Projection on your bills. It will also be used for quotes.
- Tariff Information Label
A new Tariff Information Label will be produced for every tariff to allow customers to easily understand key facts about their tariff and compare it with others. The label will be on suppliers websites and annual summaries, and a short form on bills. Your supplier will also send you one if you ask them to.
Suppliers will be putting new information on bills that tells each customer what the cheapest tariff would be for them and how much they could save.