Gas and Electricity Switching Needs to Be Done In a Day
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Energy and gas supplier First Utility has appealed for a speeding up of the switching process from one energy provider to another. At present changing from one Energy company to another can take more than a month with lengthy processes required for final readings and billing. This lengthy waiting period needs to be reduced drastically so that consumers can change to cheaper tariffs offered by alternative suppliers. With all of the new packages that are on offer from Energy and Gas Companies, a faster switch over would be welcomed. This initiative has been endorsed by energy regulator Ofgem, who has said that a speedier service would be good, but that customers should still be allowed a cooling off period to think about their switch and avoid pressure from over-zealous sales pitches.
Ofgem has said that they are working on the lengthy waiting period with energy suppliers to reduce the time needed to do final meter readings and complete the necessary paperwork before a switch could be completed. First Utility has suggested that the energy companies could learn from the new regulations that have been brought in by the banking sector, which has reduced itsí service for current account holders wishing to change financial institutions to just one week. This is a much faster time than was previously required and should make banking much more efficient.
The current waiting period to switch energy suppliers is an average of five weeks, which delays customers from benefiting from cheaper tariffs offered by other companies. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has stated that government is in the process of making it simpler for consumers to change suppliers and thus save on the ever increasing costs of energy and gas as the winter approaches. They would however like to see customers being given time to weigh up their options and reflect on their decisions to change energy suppliers so that they are certain that this is indeed what they want to do without being pressurised. The DECC have said that this cooling off period should not come with any financial penalties being incurred by the consumer if they decide not to switch suppliers. It is hoped that a speedier solution can be found to facilitate the switching from one supplier to another in the not too distant future.
Head Office: EATON HOUSE, STATION ROAD, LEEDS, LS20 8XB Company Registration: 4704157 Vat Registration: 817013852