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Energy minister urges 24 hour switching times

Energy billsUK Energy Secretary Ed Davey has demanded utilities cut the time it takes to switch consumers’ accounts, to enable them to take more advantage of lower fuel bills.

Switching energy supplier could save many people around £300 , said Davey, adding that he wants the handover time cut to 24 hours.

Energy companies have cut the time it takes to switch between suppliers to 17 days, down from five weeks last year.

But  Davey wants them to go further. “We’ve introduced more competition in the energy market and made it much quicker for people to switch energy supplier.

“Industry is delivering on my challenge so now my challenge is for more consumers to take advantage. There’s never been a better time to shop around, switch and save money faster than ever before.

“The job is not done for energy suppliers.  They must offer 24 hour switching for consumers as quickly as possible.”

Throughout 2014, 3.1 million people shopped around and switched for a better deal on their gas bills, according to Energy UK statistics.

Industry body Energy UK is responding to Ed Davey’s challenge – nine of its customers are now offering switching in 17 days.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said: “This is fantastic news and yet another example of energy companies making it easier for customers to engage with their supplier.

“There are now twenty six suppliers in the market and recently we saw data showing the price of the average tariff is falling. With quicker switching we urge customers to take full advantage of the great deals on offer.”

Smaller independent suppliers have confirmed that they too are on track to introduce faster switching. The new changes mean that suppliers don’t have to wait for the 14 day cooling off period before they begin the switching process. Instead the process begins on day one when a customer decides to switch, while statutory rights are protected so switchers can still cancel at any time within those 14 days.

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