New Laws for Household Energy Companies

New Rules came into force on 28th April 2011 preventing Household Energy Companies from increasing their prices to customers who pay by standing order and similar payment methods without giving the customer 30 days’ notice.

Until this date, the companies had an obligation to write to customers but could do so up to 65 days after the actual increase in price. 

Ofgem, the Energy watchdog which operates under delegated powers, has brought in the new regulations to give households more time to check the rates of other providers and therefore to enable the customer to switch their provider before any uncompetitive increase.

The new rules force the Energy companies to give 30 days’ notice of any change to their contract that will leave customers significantly worse off.

Most energy companies have brought in price increases over the last 6 months blaming the wholesale market costs.  It is rare for an equally swift or comparable reduction when the wholesale market costs drop back on the world markets. 

Although some of the larger Energy companies have already implemented this policy over the last few months since the regulator informed the market last year that this was to be a new rule, this is now compulsory on all Energy suppliers.

Most persons could save significant expenditure by checking their energy costs.  Price comparison websites are a good place to start in exploring the potential savings that could be made.

28th April 2011