Energy suppliers should warn before price changesGovernment supports Which? calls on 65-day rule

20 January 2010

Couple looking at their energy bill

You could save hundreds of pounds on your energy bill by switching supplier

The government has said it's 'concerned' about a rule allowing energy suppliers to change energy prices without telling consumers for up to two months after the changes have taken effect, following a Which? campaign.

The issue was raised in Parliament by Liberal Democrat shadow energy minister Simon Hughes MP during a debate on the forthcoming Energy Bill. 

Mr Hughes said the so-called '65-day' rule was 'indefensible' and asked for the Energy Bill to be amended, or for regulator Ofgem, to change energy suppliers' licenses to ensure customers are told before gas or electricity prices change.

Our annual rates the best and worst energy companies, including customer scores for British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish and Southern and Scottish Power.

Energy price changes

The energy minister Joan Ruddock MP said she had 'every sympathy with the sentiment' behind Mr Hughes' request for an amendment, and that action is being taken with Ofgem, to address the issue.

Under the current rules, once your energy supplier tells you about price changes, you have 20 working days to change your gas or electricity tariff before the new charges kick in. If you're looking to change your energy tariff, visit our free, independent switching service, Which? Switch

Households that changed their energy supplier or tariff between 1 January 2009 and 21 October 2009 using Which? Switch saved an average of £263 a year.

Energy saving advice

For more help on how to save energy - and money - visit our section for advice on reducing electricity use, fitting insulation and cutting your energy bill. You can also read our review of the most energy efficient home appliances and the best energy saving light bulbs.

Which? RSS and Twitter feeds

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.

You can also follow WhichNews on Twitter for all the latest consumer news, or follow WhichTech for technology updates.