Households may be able to switch energy provider in just one working day in future, under new plans being consulted on.
Currently, it takes between two and three weeks to switch.
But energy regulator Ofgem says this process “can be unreliable and slow”, and that it’s resulting in putting households off switching due to the perceived “hassle”.
Ofgem states in its consultation document: “Switching currently takes on average two to three weeks, which compared with other markets already looks slow and out-of-date given rising consumer expectations driven by new technology.
“In a competitive energy market, it is vital that consumers can be confident that they can easily and quickly change their energy supplier, or else they may choose not to do so.”
As a result, it’s proposed the creation of a new ‘Central Switching Service’, which will enable consumers to request to switch by 5pm and be with that new supplier by midnight the following working day.
However, while Ofgem expects one-day switching to become the industry standard, it will only regulate that suppliers must switch customers within five working days.
Households will also be able to agree a switch date with their supplier, which can be longer than the five-day regulatory minimum.
The plans are under consultation until 3 November 2017, and a decision is expected in early 2018. Ofgem does, however, say that it is “not yet proposing definitive delivery dates for programme implementation”.