News Feb 05, 2017 07:16 PM EST

Energy giants plan to help 10 million people with new loyalty program

By Carlos Gutierrez

Two of the Big Six energy suppliers are considering introducing a loyalty programme to improve the extra expense of standard tariffs. The purpose is to help 10 million customers currently paying too much for energy but who do not want to switch.

Npower and EDF Energy told MPs they were considering reward programmes to help customers who stay with them. According to Npower, it could include a free boiler service for such customers. It follows pressure from the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, who told MPs on the Business and Energy Committee that clients who had been on standard variable tariffs for a long time should be rewarded. 

Simon Stacey, an Npower executive, stated that his company was now actively looking at the idea and declared that his firm could provide its standard customers with a free boiler service, and that they've done a trial of that, to see whether it resonated with clients.

Dan Hopcroft, the residential sales director of EDF energy, declared he was looking at a loyalty proposition. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that up to 10 million customers have been on expensive standard tariffs for no less than three years.

Simeon Thornton, project director at the CMA, told the MPs that 56 percent of consumers have never switched supplier, or don't know if they have. Earlier this week the regulator, Ofgem, declared that it was going to start trials to see if there are more effective ways of persuading people to change supplier.

The energy trials are likely to start later this year, and they could involve tens of thousands of consumers. At the moment, the suppliers have to show their own cheapest tariff on bills, but not those of the rivals.

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