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2.5m homeowners* have NEVER switched energy supplier

06 October 2015
  • 15% of UK homeowners have never switched their gas or electricity provider
  • 53% of homeowners haven’t changed energy supplier for over three years
  • 27% of those surveyed think that it’s too much hassle to change provider

Despite Government initiatives to make switching energy supplier easier, 2.5m homeowners have NEVER switched provider – potentially missing out on collective savings of £728m**.

Consumers who compare prices and switch can cut their energy bills significantly. According to the latest figures***, customers using Gocompare.com save up to £291 a year on their fuel bills.

The energy switching research, commissioned by Gocompare.com Energy, also revealed that:

  • On average, homeowners last switched their energy supplier three years ago;
  • 53% of homeowners haven’t switched their energy supplier for more than three years;
  • 18% had changed provider in the last year;
  • 13% had switched between one and two years ago.

When asked what has prevented them from switching energy supplier, 27% of homeowners said that they thought it was ‘too much hassle’, 16% didn’t trust energy suppliers to save them money, while 12% thought the process was too confusing and 7% weren’t confident to do so.  A small percentage (5%) worried that switching would interrupt their gas or electricity supply.

Commenting on the research findings, Gocompare.com’s energy spokesperson, Anders Nilsson, said: “In the last few years the energy market has been transformed.  There are now more suppliers, which has resulted in greater competition for customers’ business, and Ofgem’s faster switching rules mean that changing provider has been made quicker and easier.  For those taking the initiative to shop around, there are hundreds of pounds worth of savings to be made.

“No-one should be put off changing their energy provider because they fear that it’s too complicated or disruptive to move supplier.  When you switch gas or electricity the new supplier will continue to use exactly the same wiring and pipes as you currently use.  There will be no interruption to your service.”

Anders Nilsson continued: “Comparison sites make it extremely easy to compare gas and electricity suppliers.  Energy companies regularly introduce new tariffs to tempt customers away from their competitors, so we’d recommend homeowners shop around for their gas and electricity at least once a year to ensure they’re not paying more than they need to.”

Gocompare.com has produced a beginners guide to gas and electricity.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

On 18 September 2015, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 1,302 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists and homeowners.  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 the United Kingdom.  Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

*There are 26.4 m households in the UK 16.9m (64%) of which are owner-occupied as opposed to rented (source ONS 2012).  15% of those surveyed said they had never switched their energy supplier.

**Source for total savings figure – based on the 2.5m homeowners that have never switched, and Gocompare.com’s average saving for customer switching both gas and electricity (£291).  Calculation: 2.5m homeowners x £291 = £728m.

***At least 51% of customers who received a price for switching energy supplier for both gas and electricity with Gocompare.com saved £291 or more - based on customers who provided their energy usage and received a price for switching energy supplier for both gas and electricity (dual fuel) using Gocompare.com during 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2015.