Energy retail: opt-in and testing opt-out switching

Closed 15 Oct 2021

Opened 23 Jul 2021


In the December 2020 Energy White Paper, the Government announced its enduring plans to address the factors that have caused excessive charging for default tariff consumers in the domestic energy retail. We are:

  • Creating the framework to introduce an opt-in switching scheme, where households on the most expensive tariffs are offered a simple method of switching to a cheaper tariff.
  • Testing opt-out switching, where, unless they choose not to be, consumers who haven’t switched for a while are switched to a competitive new contract. This will be part of considering how default arrangements might be reformed to enable greater competition.

In this consultation we set out detailed proposals and options, and we hope that stakeholders will be able to share their views on these to facilitate effective policy development.

Following this consultation and subject to Parliamentary time and approval, we plan to introduce primary legislation to set the high-level framework for these measures. The more detailed design and implementation will then follow, with further consultation. This consultation therefore primarily focuses on framework considerations. However, it is also necessary to consider some design questions at this stage to make sure that the framework is appropriate.

Read the consultation document on GOV.UK.


  • SMEs (small and medium businesses)
  • Large businesses (over 250 staff)
  • Trade bodies
  • Medium business (50 to 250 staff)
  • Investment
  • Retail
  • Consumer organisations
  • Consumers
  • Researchers
  • Thinktanks
  • Consumers
  • General public
  • Charities
  • Regulator
  • Charities and Third Sector organisations


  • Economic growth
  • Consumer rights
  • Research
  • Energy and climate change
  • Regulation
  • Competitiveness
  • Investment