NATIONAL FREE SWITCHING SERVICE TO REVOLUTIONISE ENERGY MARKET
The Scottish National Party (SNP) will push for a national scheme to help households save hundreds on their energy bills, it has been revealed.
Households across Britain spend around £30 billion on gas and electricity each year, an average of around £1,123.
Two thirds of households don’t switch either supplier or tariffs – often those on the lowest incomes, older people, and those without access to the internet. The difference in switching to cheapest tariff can be as much as £300.
SNP MPs would press for the introduction of a national free switching service. This free service would be available to everyone to find out what they could save on their bill and help them switch suppliers.
This would be alongside a database, to be held by Ofgem, of people who have not switched suppliers so the service could contact people who hadn’t switched to encourage them to get a cheaper deal. The service would compare the whole market – all the energy tariffs - with clear explanations of costs, and average bills.
This switching service would also look at where collective switching could work to the advantage of households – for example in the social rented sector.
SNP MPs would support legislation to:
• put a duty on energy suppliers to use clear language in explaining tariffs and costs
• introduce a cap on credit that can be built up
• provide a minimum of quarterly bills so arrears cannot be built up
• contact all customers who have been on same tariff for two years unless it is the cheapest tariff and
• ensure that, if an energy supplier fails, the full credit built up by a consumer is repaid and if there are arrears, customers are treated fairly and administrators follow Ofgem rules of repayment.
SNP candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran Patricia Gibson commented:
“Families across Scotland can face real financial pressure, and that’s being made worse by Brexit – which is why we need to escape Brexit and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.
“Energy bills are some of the biggest households face and we all know that bills and tariffs can be confusing. And it is clear most households aren’t regularly shopping around for a better deal, despite potentially saving hundreds of pounds a year.
“We want that to change. Our proposal for a free switching service would make a massive difference in ensuring bill payers aren’t being ripped off “The SNP want to provide people with a service that works to get them the best deal. And we would bring transparency to bills and tariffs for all consumers – whether that’s a family home or a small business – and help bring down the cost of living.”