MILLIONS of families will get lower energy bills under Government plans to end rip-off tariffs.
Power giants will be forced to switch consumers to lower tariffs automatically once their initial contract has ended.
It will end the so-called “loyalty penalty” which means consumers who stick with the same supplier pay up to £315 a year over the odds.
The move is part of a package of measures to be unveiled this week aimed at cleaning up the energy system and keeping bills affordable.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma has ordered a crackdown on companies who take their customers’ loyalty for granted by setting bills close to the energy price cap.
An estimated 11 million households overpay by a total of £3.5billion-a-year, compared to cheaper deals on the market.
Government plans will allow customers to choose opt-in switching, where they can choose to change to a cheaper tariff – or opt-out contracts where it is done automatically.
There will also be added protections for the poorest and most vulnerable customers.
The flagship Warm Home Discount Scheme, which knocks £140 off the electricity bills of many pensioners and low-income families, will be extended until 2026.
A further 750,000 consumers will be made eligible, meaning a total of three million households will benefit from the scheme.
A Whitehall source said: “This government is revolutionising the way the UK powers its homes, buildings and industry – but we are also overhauling the system in favour of the consumer.
“We do not believe that energy companies should be able to roll over contracts indefinitely or punish long-standing, loyal customers .
“That’s why we are going to make it even easier for people to switch to cheaper tariffs and drive down bills so they can keep more money in their back pockets.”
The energy plan will also boost the number of green jobs as the country moves towards its target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Major investment in offshore wind, clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and advanced nuclear will be announced – heralding up to 220,000 highly-skilled British jobs.
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