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Energy price rule change introduced

New rules which mean that consumers must be given 30 days’ notice of price rises by gas and electricity suppliers have come into force as part of a drive to make providers “play it straight”.

Energy watchdog Ofgem decided to change the previous policy, which allowed energy firms to write to customers up to 65 days after increasing prices, to allow households or businesses more time to switch provider if unhappy with planned tariff hikes.

The new regulations also mean that customers will have to be given 30 days’ notice of any change to the terms and conditions of their contract that will leave them significantly worse off.

Hannah Mummery, energy expert for consumer group Consumer Focus, said: “Ofgem has also made some strong recommendations from its energy market review which should also make it easier for customers to compare energy tariffs and switch to a better deal.”

Price increases have been brought in by the six biggest energy providers in the UK in recent months, with rises in the wholesale cost of gas and oil being blamed by the firms for the move.