EP 45

Stephen Littlechild

UK Domestic Energy Contracts: the 28 day rule and experience in Sweden

EP 45 | Non-Technical Summary | PDF

Abstract: In the UK, domestic customers must be able to terminate energy contracts at 28 days’ notice. This has been seen as a transitional protection for customers and for competition. This paper reviews the arguments for and against the 28 day rule, and examines the extent to which UK suppliers have offered fixed-price fixed-term contracts. It also looks at experience in Sweden, where there is no such restriction and where there is greater use of fixed-price fixed-term contracts. The paper concludes that there is no longer a need for the 28 day rule to protect customers, and that it is more likely to restrict than to protect competition. Journal: Published as: Residential energy contracts and the 28 day rule, Utilities Policy, 14 (1) March 2006, 44-62.

Keywords: competition, electricity, regulation

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