Electricity suppliers fear mass customer shifts with new rules

Electricity suppliers fear new market rules, to be launched tomorrow, could prompt a sharp increase in the number of consumers shifting from one supplier to another, and, while doing so, leaving behind unpaid electricity bills.

Under the current framework, between 20,000 and 30,000 customers are switching suppliers every month, but suppliers fear the new rules, suspending a wholesale price adjustment clause included in electricity bills, could greatly increase these shifts by breeding greater consumer insecurity.

Suppliers will now need to try and forecast energy exchange price levels for ensuing two-month periods, which has raised fears of further price rises as a safety measure for loss avoidance.

Consumers are entitled to change electricity supplier once a month, without any penalties, to secure the best deals in the market.

Electricity suppliers who have been abandoned continue to be deprived of the right to request power cuts for former customers who have left behind unsettled electricity bills.