Your energy company will have to tell you about the cheapest tariffs they offer and could even be made to help you switch if new plans get the go-ahead.
Both the government and industry regulator Ofgem are intervening with measures that should, if and when they're rolled out, make it even easier for you to get the best energy deal. These include:
David Cameron has also promised to make energy companies pro-actively give customers their lowest tariffs and plans to make it law, although he's yet to reveal how and when this will be achieved.
Until then it's down to you so use our action plan How to cut your utility bills to make sure you're on the best deal in the meantime.
That's if an Ofcom investigation deems them unacceptable. The communications regulator has launched a consultation that will determine whether mid-term price hikes are fair. Currently providers have to give their customers a months' notice of any change that will be of 'material detriment' to them, and the option to break their contract without penalty at that point. The results will be published by the end of 2012.
New claims have added £700 million to the £1.3 billion bill they'd already accounted for. This additional outlay is expected to cause the bank to make a loss for the three months between July and September.
So says a survey by the Yorkshire Building Society. However, savvy savers that maximise the interest they earn on their deposit fund can cut this time by up to a year.
The fine is for the bank's failure to keep up to date records for 250,000 of its mortgage customers. The bank was holding information on two separate systems which meant they weren't able to tell which customers had a capped mortgage and which were on standard variable rate deals - something that caused significant confusion for those affected and resulted in a breach of the FSA's Principles for Business.
It will be responsible for ensuring banks minimise risk to consumer deposits, winding down or extending financial support to struggling banks and, eventually, rolling out a joint deposit guarantee scheme. However, the UK will uphold its independent regulatory system despite most other EU countries agreeing to participate.
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