Ofgem confirms plans for simpler tariffs for energy customers

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Energy regulator Ofgem has reiterated its plans to force energy suppliers into cutting down the number of tariffs they offer customers.

The Government has confirmed that it is completely behind the plans.

The regulator outlined plans back in October last year, but the Government then trumped Ofgem's own plans by announcing proposals for even more stringent measures than Ofgem were initially suggesting.

The energy secretary, Ed Davey, outlined plans to cut down the number of tariffs offered to customers by the energy suppliers to only four options at an energy select committee meeting in November.

Ofgem are now set to push ahead with its proposals. Aside from the number of tariffs being limited, energy firms will now have to present clearer bills showing exactly which tariffs are cheaper - the suppliers could even be forced to to inform their most vulnerable customers of the cheapest deal currently available, even if it was that of a rival supplier.

The first stage of the proposals will come into effect in the summer, with the other proposals coming into effect by winter next year.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said, "The package announced today is a huge step towards energy bills that are more fair for everyone. This is about putting people before profits.

"The Bill will support this package, and make sure that all energy customers are put on their supplier's lowest variable rate unless they choose otherwise."

Ofgem chief executive, Alistair Buchanan, said the proposals would see: "the most radical shake-up of the energy retail market since competition began.

"My message to the suppliers is – don't wait for the legal process to take effect. Most have already embraced the reform agenda and now the way is clear for all of them to work with Ofgem to bring in reforms as soon as possible."

With Mr Buchanan warning of potential higher bills earlier in the week, these proposals are just one of the many ways Ofgem, the Government and the energy providers themselves, are all looking into ways to help customers cut their energy costs.

For example, the Government launched its Green Deal scheme late last month, offering customers subsidy on things such as fitting an energy efficient boiler or wall insulation in their home, in order to improve its general energy efficiency.

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