European Parliament calls on electricity customers to switch

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The European Parliament has reminded homeowners this week about how they can save money and reduce carbon emissions by switching electricity suppliers.

As the weather gets colder across every part of Europe and the heaters go on in ever greater numbers, MEPs have picked this week to remind domestic energy customers of the benefits of "unbundling".

In July this year, European law required member states to separate their electricity supply and production sectors from network infrastructure functions.

The result should be a step change in competition, providing more options for consumers and – hopefully – lower prices.

The European Parliament admitted that it is too soon yet to see what the effect of unbundling has been, but it suggested that there are indication that the numbers switching have been "significant".

Spanish MEP Alejo Vidal-Quadras said: "We are in a period where we need to optimise the use of energy and citizens need a radical change of attitude in their consuming habits, which requires that they know the real costs of energy.

"This will only happen once the markets are really open to competition...when citizens will, in practice, be able to switch providers freely."

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