Despite many facing huge bills following this winter’s price hikes, the energy shopping message isn’t getting through.
Today, Wednesday 23 April, Ofgem, the energy regulator, is launching its Be An Energy Shopper campaign to encourage people to take an active interest in their energy bills and ensure that they’re on the best tariffs by shopping around regularly.
Caroline Lloyd, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said:
“We applaud the regulator’s efforts to get people switched on to switching, and hope that this campaign will reinforce the message that, when it comes to energy, loyalty doesn’t always pay.
“Despite energy bills representing a significant outgoing for many UK households, many people still aren’t shopping around to ensure that they are getting the best deal on their gas and electricity. In fact, our research has found that 15% of consumers have NEVER switched their energy provider*, which may explain why a quarter of households are spending more than 10% of their monthly disposable income on energy.**
“While the government and the regulator try to tackle competition and supply issues and the pressure this places on energy prices, it’s important that consumers also take an active interest in their energy spending and shop around regularly to control their costs. It takes minutes, using a comparison site, to compare the tariffs available from all of the UK’s energy companies – large and small – and if you can save money elsewhere, switch there and then!
“If you shop around and find that you’re already on the cheapest tariff for you then at least you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not paying more for your energy than you need to, but remember to compare prices regularly as new tariffs are launched all the time.
“And don’t limit your search just to tariffs from your current supplier, or from the so-called ‘big six’. There are lots of smaller, independent providers out there too, many of whom are hugely competitive on price as well as the level of service they offer customers. Switching is easy and handled by the company you’re transferring your business to, so if you’ve never shopped around for energy, or haven’t done so in a while, grab your latest bill and see what’s on offer.”
Notes to editors:
*On 16-17 December 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,005 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
** Based on research commissioned by Gocompare.com and carried out by Consumer Intelligence on 13 and 14 December 2013 with 2,016 UK adults who are customers of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers (British Gas, ScottishPower, E.ON, npower, EDF, and SSE).