19th Jul 2016
This Bill is designed to give consumers more power and choice by enabling faster switching and greater protection when things go wrong. Although the Bill is described as trying to improve competition generally, its main focus is will be on the energy market.
It is a demonstration of the Government’s desire to improve customer service in regulated markets, in particular the energy market. It is important when the Bill comes forward that the needs of the consumer and ways of improving customer service are prioritised and not neglected.
At the heart of this is a desire to give consumers greater information so that they have the tools they need to make informed choices and be better able to judge the quality of the service they are receiving. As this evolves, organisations across the public and private sector will be required to focus more on their customer service as consumers become more discerning and selective.
The main measures that the Bill will contain will include:
• To encourage consumers to switch providers and get a better deal, supporting the manifesto commitment to help keep bills as low as possible.
• To speed up the decision making process for competition investigations and make the whole process easier for businesses and better for consumers.
• To give the competition authorities more powers to take on anti-competitive behaviour.
• To improve the landscape for economic regulation.
• To take steps to ensure open and competitive markets which keep costs low and deliver for bill payers, including delivering the manifesto commitment to act quickly on the Competition and Market Authority’s final recommendations to promote competition in the energy market.
• To help businesses by simplifying regulatory processes and removing unnecessary requirements.