Consumers planning to switch gas and electricity companies in pursuit of cheaper prices could be aided by an Ofgem proposal to end "unjustified" prices.
The industry regulator has been investigating energy companies since early 2008 and it plans to address the way in which customers are charged different prices depending on their particular payment method.
Homeowners who do not pay for their energy bills by direct debit or those who have no access to mains gas supplies, often end up paying more for to their supplier.
Ofgem is proposing rules that include forcing companies to highlight the right of the consumer to switch suppliers, while also regularly clarifying the tariff a customer is on and details of their energy usage.
Alistair Buchanan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: "This is an emphatic move by Ofgem to clear the decks of obstacles that prevent consumers from getting access to the best offers."
Mark Todd, director at energyhelpline, commented: "Ofgem has always been a toothless watchdog, but it sounds as though it's developing a taste for blood as the recession clearly hits consumers."
All the UK's major energy companies have announced price reductions in recent weeks.
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