Clegg trumpets tariffs deal with energy firms

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg delivers his speech during the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference at The Sage, Gateshead. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg delivers his speech during the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference at The Sage, Gateshead. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
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Energy companies will have to write to customers every year informing them of the best deals for their household, Nick Clegg will announce today, following a “landmark” deal.

The Deputy Prime Minister hopes a new agreement with the UK’s six biggest energy firms will offer customers the most efficient deals, driving down gas and electricity bills.

In a speech in London, Mr Clegg is set to warn that Ministers cannot control “volatile world energy prices”, but will claim the Government can help people cut their bills.

“Right now, seven out of 10 customers are on the wrong tariff for their needs, so are paying too much. Yet people rarely switch, despite the fact some families could save up to £100 a year.

“There are currently over 120 different tariffs, making it very difficult to know where to start. That is going to change.

“As of this autumn, your supplier will have to contact you with the best tariff for your needs – and if you call them, they’ll have to offer you the best deal too.”

Mr Clegg will also today announce a new scheme where companies will print barcodes on bills, allowing customers to scan the codes on mobile phones, linking them to the best energy tariffs.

Consumer Focus’s director of energy Audrey Gallacher said alerting customers to the best deal was “long overdue”, but she added: “This needs to be more than a one-off mail shot and part of a wider strategy to help people overcome the burden of having to navigate hundreds of complex tariffs to get a decent price. Unfortunately, people don’t trust energy firms and previous mail-outs have not always had the best take-up.”