Introducing opt-in switching and testing opt-out switching under consultation

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Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is seeking views on how the government should incrementally introduce an opt-in switching scheme and test opt-out switching.

In the Energy white paper, the government announced plans to address the factors that have caused excessive charging in the domestic energy retail market on an enduring basis.

Therefore, BEIS is set to:

  • create the framework to introduce an opt-in switching scheme, where households on the most expensive tariffs are offered a simple method of switching to a cheaper tariff.
  • test opt-out switching, where, unless they choose not to be, consumers who haven’t switched for a while are switched to a competitive new contract. This will be part of considering how default arrangements might be reformed to enable greater competition.

In this consultation BEIS is set out detailed proposals and options, hoping that stakeholders will be able to share their views on these to facilitate effective policy development.

Following this consultation and subject to Parliamentary time and approval, BEIS plans to introduce primary legislation to set the high-level framework for these measures. The more detailed design and implementation will then follow, with further consultation.

Therefore, this consultation primarily focuses on framework considerations. However, it is also necessary to consider some design questions at this stage to make sure that the framework is appropriate.

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 15th October 2021.

More information about this consultation and how to take part is available on the UK Government website.