Energy regulator Ofgem has announced plans to trial a special switching deal to help people reduce their energy bills.
As reported by the BBC, the trial – set to be launched in the next few weeks – will be offered to around 50,000 households across the UK.
The scheme will be based on the idea of ‘collective’ switching, where large numbers of consumers swap supplier in one go, and could offer savings of up to £300 a year for each customer.
Customers eligible for the switch scheme will have been on a standard tariff for over three years. Approximately 57% of households are currently on these tariffs, which are the most expensive.
Ofgem said it had already chosen one of the big six energy suppliers to run the trial, but it has not revealed which one.
It will also appoint a consumer partner to help with the switch – most likely a switching site or a consumer group.
Unlike other collective switches, customers will not need to enter their existing tariff details to be calculated, which Ofgem says will make it easier to take part.
Depending on the outcome of the trial, Ofgem says it could roll out simplified collective switches for more customers.
Rob Salter-Church, interim senior partner for consumers and competition, said: “Ofgem is committed to getting all consumers a better energy deal.
“We will protect consumers who don’t switch from being charged too much while we put in place the building blocks for a more competitive market.”
In other news, the regulator has today given the go ahead to a programme which will allow people to switch by the end of the next working day. Currently, it takes between two and three weeks to switch energy suppliers.
Ofgem says it aims to get the new one-day switching scheme in place by 2020.