To make it easier for customers to switch providers for different services and provide more protection for them when things go wrong
To speed up decisions from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and ensure the government acts quickly on their recommendations to promote competition in the energy market
To simplify economic regulation and make the process more straightforward for businesses
This Bill could help customers get a better deal on their bills. The government have said that households could save up to £390 a year by switching just three providers.
The Bill would also be business-friendly by cutting red tape and ensuring that regulators help businesses do the right thing first and only penalise them as a last resort.
Greg Clark, heading up the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, is in charge of this one.
The CMA is meant to help the government make markets more competitive. However, Labour MP Rachel Reeves has argued that the CMA has fallen short on market regulation in the past. For example, in the banking sector, exploitative overdraft charges are still being charged. This suggests that even if the government acts on the CMA’s recommendations, this may not be enough to properly regulate markets for the benefit of consumers.
The CMA’s recommendations for making the energy market more competitive have been criticised. They have abandoned plans for a wide-ranging cap on energy bills and their suggestion for giving energy providers access to more consumer data has led to concerns that people will be bombarded with junk mail as providers compete to give consumers more options. You can read more about this here.
How to get involved
Speak to your MP.
If I don’t act, will it go through?
As with all Government Bills, this is very likely to go through.