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Gocompare.com comments on Ofgem’s findings that households are missing out on savings by sticking with variable tariffs from big suppliers

23 January 2015

Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com said; “Ofgem’s announcement will hopefully help households realise the importance of being an active energy shopper. Thanks to increased competition from smaller suppliers, there are a number of attractive short-term dual fuel fixed tariffs available at the moment, many of which are less than £1,000 a year. However, we have found that nearly a third (30%) of households have never switched their energy provider*.”

Recent Gocompare.com research revealed that households were potentially missing out on £1.7 billion worth of savings on their energy bills by not switching. The comparison site found that that just 18% of consumers switched their energy provider in 2014, meaning the majority of households could have missed out on a potential saving of £215.00 a year*.

Researchers also found that 58% of householders have been with the same energy provider for four or more years and that 30% have never switched. Loyal energy customers could be missing out on a potential £1.7 billion saving on their energy bills.

Jeremy continued, “Even with the recently announced energy cuts, so far all of the ‘big six’ price cuts have disappointed customers who feel they should be getting more back from the near 20% drop in wholesale gas prices at the end of last year. Also frustrating is the length of time it has taken for suppliers to pass these savings on to customers. With most having these cuts come into effect after the winter months, when energy usage is at its highest, have passed has understandably left a bad taste in customer’s mouths. As it stands, E.on is the only ‘big six’ supplier to have implemented its cut with immediate effect.”

“Though the ‘big six’ are finally passing savings on to households, it is the smaller suppliers which are constantly topping the best buy tables and offering the cheapest tariffs to customers. Just yesterday, Extra Energy announced a new table topping tariff, their Fresh Fixed Price January 2016 v9, which costs, on average £914 a year, a saving of £412 on the average household energy bill for a medium usage home**

By the time British Gas hands over its 5% reduction on 27 February, standard tariff gas customers could have taken advantage of the industry’s new 17 day faster switching and potentially moved to a better deal saving them significantly more than if they stayed on their supplier’s variable tariff.”

All of the current top ten cheapest dual fuel tariffs, including the Extra Energy Fresh Fixed Price Jan 2016 v9, the cheapest fixed term tariff on the market, are available through Gocompare.com’s energy comparison service.

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Notes to editors:

* Based on customers who provided their energy usage and received a price for switching energy supplier for both gas and electricity (dual fuel) using Energy Helpline powered by Gocompare.com during 01 July – 30 September 2014, at least 51% of customers saved £215 or more.

According to the ONS there were 26.4m households in the UK in 2013. £1.7 billion is based on the 30% (7,920,000m) households which have not switched energy supplier in the last three years. Potential saving of £215.00 X 7,920,000m = £1,702,800,000 (rounded to £1.7bn).

** Based on dual fuel, payment by monthly direct debit, averaged across all UK regions and for households with an annual energy usage of 13,500kWh gas and 3,200kWh electricity (medium user). Saving calculated against an average bill £1,326 as calculated by Ofgem November 2014