Implementing the promise of the cheapest energy tariff

ANGUS MP Mike Weir has called for action to tackle the problems of vulnerable energy customers.

He was speaking during the committee stage of the Energy Bill, on Thursday, about the UK government’s proposals to implement the Prime Minister’s promise to put every consumer on the cheapest possible tariff.

Mr Weir called for a simple system of moving people over to the cheapest tariff unless they make a conscious decision to stay on their present tariff, rather than the energy company simply contacting them with an offer to move.

He said: “At present we already receive a huge amount of paper from our energy providers – as well as the bills we get special offers, offers to take on maintenance of domestic appliances, drains, pipes and electrics.

“Invitations to take up different ways to pay your bills, especially if they have not already signed you up to a direct debit, and once they have regular attempts to increase the amount you are paying by direct debit – which sometimes bears no relation to the amount of energy you are actually using.

“And we now get annual and regular energy statements. All very useful, but how many of our constituents really take the time to go through this mountain of information, and how many just put it in the recycling bin with all the other junk mail? The changes should be straightforward, if the consumer is on a contract or supply terms that are not the best then they can be automatically transferred to the better deal, unless they make the specific decision not to do so.”