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Simpler energy tariff rules now in force

A ban on confusing energy tariffs comes into effect today, as energy regulator Ofgem introduces reforms to make the industry simpler and clearer for consumers.

Energy suppliers will now have to offer customers just four tariffs for gas and four for electricity and must structure them using only a single unit rate.

The measure is part of a package of reforms designed to simplify the market for consumers and help them identify the best deal. In April suppliers will have to regularly tell customers which of their tariffs is the cheapest.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, welcomed the move but said more was needed:

"Ofgem's energy market reforms are a welcome step in the right direction but they just do not go far enough to boost competition and help consumers find the cheapest deals at a time when millions are struggling with the cost of living.

"This is why the Government should intervene with more radical measures including simpler pricing, greater transparency and scrutiny of the cost of energy policies, and the separation of supply from generation businesses. More must be done to keep prices in check and give consumers confidence that the price they pay for their energy is fair."