Utility image, via Istock

Smart Data Council aims to cut consumer bills

As the UK is still combatting the ongoing cost of living crisis, a new Smart Data Council has been established to help lower bills for consumers and small businesses alike through making it easier to switch utility providers.

The Department for Business and Trade made this announcement on the 17th April, outlining how the Council will extend the benefits of Smart Data to new sectors, ensuring that consumers and businesses can benefit from the requisite tariffs suitable for their needs, or reduce the loyalty penalty that is charged whilst attempting change providers.

The current loyalty penalties sit at £1,114 a year for households across mobile, mortgages and broadband.

Smart Data allows the secure sharing of customer data with an authorised third party, thus improving the security of consumer’s information. The further integration of Smart Data will then ensure that those needing to switch utilities providers have a smoother transition, which will, in turn, support those in need to save money where needed.

The Council itself will consist of representatives from Citizens Advice, Ofcom and HM Treasury amongst other stakeholders, where they will be tasked with leading developing and co-ordinating on the innovative schemes that will utilise the Smart Data, emulating the success of Open Banking in other sectors which could include telecoms and energy.

Business and Trade Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

“Smart Data can be a real game changer for consumers across the UK, potentially saving people hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.

“Our new Smart Data Council will build on the success of Open Banking and spearhead measures in sectors like SME finance, energy and telecoms, increasing competition and putting more money in the pockets of consumers and small firms.”

The inaugural meeting will take place on Tuesday 25th April 2023.

Council Members:

  • The Department for Business and Trade
  • HM Treasury
  • The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
  • The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office
  • Ofcom
  • Ofgem
  • The Financial Conduct Authority
  • The Competition and Markets Authority
  • TechUK
  • Innovate Finance
  • Icebreaker One
  • Citizens Advice
  • The Coalition for a Digital Economy (COADEC)
  • Open Data Institute
  • Ctrl-Shift
  • Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE)
  • The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA)
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