2 years on the same tariff, it is enough...
An interesting proposition can be found in the Report of 27 February 2018 of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of the European Parliament on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for the internal market in electricity (recast) (COM(2016)0864 – C8-0495/2016 – 2016/0380(COD)).
ITRE proposed to add the new paragraph 8b in Article 18 of the said legislative act - in the following wording:
“8b. Where a final customer has been on the same tariff for more than 2 years, Member States shall require suppliers to notify the customer, in or alongside the energy bill, whether a more suitable or advantageous tariff is available, and facilitate their move to the new tariff.”
ITRE explains that it is important to take action to ensure that where final customers have been on the same tariff for more than 2 years, they can be proactively alerted by their supplier as to whether they could reduce their bills by switching to an alternative, perhaps newer tariff, offered by that same supplier.
As the ITRE observes:
- customers who do not change supplier often end up on so-called "sleeping tariffs" or "legacy tariffs" which are no longer competitive and can be significantly more costly than the current range of tariffs available,
- such customers may often be those on lower incomes or most at risk of energy poverty.
The above observations can be assessed as reasonable.
Nevertheless, if this proposal enters into effect it could really incentivise clients in the electricity market to be more proactive, some of them may even begin to consider switching supplier.