Energy customers will be able to switch suppliers within 24 hours by 2018, under plans confirmed by the Government.

Energy secretary Amber Rudd has expressed concerns that the market for gas and electricity is "not working well for consumers" and says the key to getting bills down is to encourage families to "shop around". Join's free Cheap Energy Club to switch and cut your energy costs.

To achieve this, Rudd wants the Government to do the following:

  • To work with energy regulator Ofgem to reduce the time it takes to switch suppliers from 17 days to 24 hours by 2018.
  • To develop a switching guarantee with the industry to give consumers more reassurance regarding the reliability of the switching process.
  • To ensure 53 million smart meters are installed by 2020.

The move comes as part of a written response sent to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) yesterday following its report into the energy sector published last month.

The CMA provisionally found that the main energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – were overcharging customers by around 5%, or £40 a household, while over 34% of people it surveyed had never considered switching supplier.

Its final report is expected by the end of the year, which the Government says it will take on board.