MP Proposes Reforms For Energy Suppliers

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Customers could be getting a better deal on the energy they use, if Government plans go ahead.

John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare, has released a policy document entitled We Deserve Better. The document outlines plans to "put customers first," citing consumer distrust of the utility industry.

Proposals put forward in Penrose's document include switching from "Big Regulators" to "Big Consumers" - in other words, making it easier to compare energy prices and switch energy suppliers.

Penrose also suggests reforms in the way energy "monopolies" are managed, allowing competing energy firms to take on established suppliers more easily.

"For far too long consumers have been ripped off," said Penrose in a press statement.

"It's time to put them first. Putting you and I as consumers in charge, by making it easier to compare deals and take out business elsewhere if we aren't happy, is what we do in every other part of our lives, so why should it be so hard for our gas, electricity or water?"

The proposals outlined in We Deserve Better will be debated in London this Friday, at a conference organised by the Regulatory Policy Institute.

Meanwhile, Which? has criticised proposals from energy regulator Ofgem, arguing that they could end up costing consumers up to £55m more, collectively.

Ofgem's plans to simplify energy tariffs to four basic plans - customers would be advised of the best plan to move to based on medium gas and electricity usage.

However, Which? says only 26 per cent of customers use this amount of energy, so nearly three quarters of customers could be advised on a deal which doesn't match up to their energy usage.

Ofgem recently released its Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) guidelines, which oblige energy supplies to provide measures which help vulnerable and low income households heat their homes - by, for example, installing or repairing boilers.

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