‘Smarter consumers’ to lose money under Cameron’s energy reform

Consumers who have shopped around for the cheapest energy tariff are likely to lose money when the government's energy reforms come into force.

Far from saving cash, around one in five households will lose up to £100 when each provider is limited to four tariffs.

The change means the best deals will likely disappear from the market as firms are unable to offer them to all customers, a government impact assessment found.

"You don’t need a PhD in economics to work out what will happen – the cheapest deals in the market will disappear," shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint said.

"The government should instead introduce single unit prices for energy tariffs so people can easily compare prices and spot the best deal for them at a glance.

"This would inject much needed competition into the broken energy market and finally increase the pressure on energy companies to keep their prices as low as possible."

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "We must strike a balance between ensuring all consumers – including the majority that currently don't switch – are on the cheapest tariff for them, and maintaining competitive pressures on suppliers to compete and innovate to offer attractive deals to consumers."