Ofgem has proposed a series of reforms that should make it easier for individuals to find cheap gas deals by performing an energy comparison.
The regulator stated the proposals will lead to simpler tariffs and easier to understand bills that will give people a better idea of exactly how much they are paying for their gas and electricity supplies.
Central to the plans will be the ability for customers to compare energy prices easily, with those wanting a basic deal able to choose a tariff with a straightforward unit price and fixed standing charges.
There will also be greater protection against price hikes for those on long-term deals and standardised information to allow individuals to compare different tariffs side by side.
Chief executive of Ofgem Alistair Buchanan said a "radical break" with the past is needed to restore customer confidence in the energy sector.
"Ofgem's tariff reforms offer the quickest way to create a market where consumers can have confidence that prices are set by effective competition," he said.
With there currently being over 400 tariffs on the market, Ofgem proposes forcing energy suppliers to offer just one standard tariff for each payment type, as well as provide more innovative deals that take advantage of technology such as smart meters.
A spokeswoman for the regulator explained the changes should be in place by 2012/13 and will eliminate much of the complexity that has been a barrier to many people switching their gas and electricity deal.
"It is always worth consumers shopping round for a better deal and that includes looking at different suppliers, looking at the tariffs that they are on and different payment methods," she added, noting that those who have never switched energy provider before could see significant savings.
The spokeswoman explained that because companies would have to express charges for energy as a single unit price, this will make it very easy for consumers to compare prices.
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