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Switching could pay off almost half of your new annual energy bill

07 March 2016

More than 18 million households could have the equivalent of many months’ worth of free energy simply by switching to a better deal

Analysis by Gocompare.com Energy has found that millions of households could save themselves the equivalent of almost six months’ worth of gas and electric bills when they switch away from expensive ‘standard’ tariffs, to the cheapest dual fuel deal.

The comparison website’s research has found that, for a typical household, the annual energy bill could be reduced from £1,093 to £742, saving them £351 a year – which would cover 47% of their new annual gas and electricity costs.*

And with figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)** showing that more than two thirds of energy customers are on standard tariffs, more than 18 million*** households could be paying a lot more for their gas and electricity than they need to.

So Gocompare.com is calling on the many millions of households who are currently on expensive standard tariffs to set aside 10 minutes, get online, compare tariffs and, if they find a better deal that they are happy with, switch to ditch their costly bills.

By switching to any of the top 10 cheapest dual fuel deals, people who are currently on an expensive standard dual fuel tariff could save £334 a year. That’s equivalent to saving 3.7 months’ worth of their current energy costs.****

Potential annual savings from switching

Average ‘big six’ standard tariff

Average cheapest bill

Annual saving vs standard tariff

Average of top 10 cheapest bills

Annual saving vs standard tariff

£1,093

£742

£351

£759

£334



Based on an Ofgem-defined ‘medium user’ (3,100 kWh electricity and 12,500 kWh gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, dual fuel, averaged across all 14 energy distribution regions

Ben Wilson, energy spokesperson for Gocompare.com, said: “We may be about to enter the lighter and, arguably, warmer season of spring, but undeniably there will be many millions of people who have been paying way over the odds for their energy over the last few months. And if you pay by monthly direct debit, remember that energy payments are based on annual usage, so the cost is spread throughout the entire year.

“Unlike with some things, when it comes to energy you don’t always get what you pay for. There’s no such thing as first-class gas and electricity, so why pay a premium price when you won’t see a difference in the quality of the energy that you use to power and heat your home?

“Of course there are other things to consider, such as early exit fees – particularly if you opt for a fixed term deal – and whether the supplier you’re considering switching to will let you manage your energy the way you like. For example, can you access your account online, over the phone or via an app, and will they let you choose between paper or paperless billing, and a payment schedule that suits you?

“Energy tariffs are more competitive now than they have been for a long time, so if you’ve never switched, or haven’t done so in a while and wonder whether it’s worth it, I’d suggest that you go online today to shop around and find out how much you could save. Our research shows that you could potentially save enough to pay off many months’ worth of your annual bill, so there’s nothing to lose.”

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*Average annual dual fuel bill for customers on a standard tariff from one of the UK’s ‘big six’ energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE, and E.ON - is based on an Ofgem-defined ‘medium user’ (3,100 kWh electricity and 12,500 kWh gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, averaged across all 14 energy distribution regions = £1,093. Average cheapest dual fuel tariff (based on the same criteria) = £742. £1,093 - £742 = £351, which is 47% of the new annual dual fuel bill of £742. Analysis carried out on Friday 26 February 2016.

**https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/416052/Variation_in_tariff_types_and_energy_bills.pdf

***Over 18 million figure is based on there being 27 million households in the UK (ONS statistical bulletin: families and households 2015). 67% of energy customers are on a standard tariff (according to DECC**). 67% of 27milliion is 18,090,000. Rounded to nearest million.

****Average annual dual fuel bill for customers on a standard tariff from one of the UK’s ‘big six’ energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE, and E.ON - is based on an Ofgem-defined ‘medium user’ (3,100 kWh electricity and 12,500 kWh gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, averaged across all 14 energy distribution regions = £1,093. This equates to a monthly cost of £91.01. The difference between the average ‘big six’ standard tariff and the average annual cost of the top 10 cheapest dual fuel tariffs is £334. £334/£91.01 = 3.66. So a £334 annual saving = 3.7 months at £91.01 per month.