Energy switch time to be cut in half
Ofgem have confirmed that the time it takes to ditch one energy company and sign-up with another will be cut in half. They've sat everyone from the industry down and switching times will fall to three days plus a 14-day cooling off period from December 31st.
From 2018, we'll all be able to do next-day switching.
In itself, the move isn't a bad one. If you think you can save money by losing one company and getting in bed with another, this is good news.
Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan said: "Consumers can change their bank in seven days, their mobile phone in just a couple, but have to wait significantly longer to switch their energy supplier. We hope this will give consumers more confidence to get out there and start shopping around."
At the moment, it takes over a month to complete the process. The energy companies need to update their IT so this can come into play.
Ann Robinson at uSwitch.com, thinks this is a good idea, saying: "Today's announcement is exactly the sort of game-changer that is needed to encourage consumers to engage with the energy market. By speeding up the time it takes to switch energy supplier, households will feel the benefits of moving to a new tariff even sooner."
"With half of households yet to switch their energy supplier, it is clear there are barriers that need to be broken down. For many of these, it will be a question of confidence and fear of the unknown."
However, the thing staring everyone in the face (everyone, in this instance, doesn't include anyone from the energy sector, Ofgem or uSwitch, it seems) is that, if all the energy companies are ripping everyone off and constantly hiking up their prices, a fast turnaround time is little more than giving consumers the opportunity to get to know more dickheads, quickly.
It's a bit like getting the option to recover from a cold quicker, in return for getting an STD.