Around 13.5m families in the UK are missing out on a total of £2.7 billion by not changing their energy supplier, according to data from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).1
It has been found that most households in Britain are overcharged and could save £200 if they shop around.
Experts reveal that insignificant price cuts from the Big Six Energy Suppliers are giving customers false optimism for their bills.
The £2.7 billion figure was reached after the DECC’s Domestic Fuel Inquiry collected information from customer tariffs. These numbers were then compared to data from sites that find the cheapest available deal.
These statistics have been released just as the Government introduces its new Power to Switch campaign, designed to encourage homeowners to change suppliers and find the best rate for them.
This all arrives as the Big Six receive criticism for ripping customers off and not providing the benefits of the fall in oil prices. Wholesale gas prices have dropped by about 20% since December; however, the Big Six have only cut prices of their standard gas tariffs by between 1.3-5.1%.1
Martin Lewis, money saving expert, says: “We need to shout loud about the benefits of switching tariff. Too many people think energy firms are all the same. That’s far from true, there are huge differences on both price and customer service.
“The worry is that news of recent price cuts, even though they were paltry, will have given many false confidence that they’re on a decent deal. Examine the figures and the ugly truth is very different.
“Even after price cuts, someone on a Big Six Supplier standard tariff with typical use will pay £1,158 a year, whereas switch to the cheapest tariff and they’d pay just over £900 a year.
“So it’s worth people taking ten minutes to see if they can save themselves £250, at an hourly rate of £1,500, if someone else was offering this to you as work would you turn it down?”1
Chief Customer Officer at First Utility, the largest independent energy provider, Ed Kamm, supports the campaign.
Kamm explains: “The Big Six’s recent price cuts gave savings of less than £30 to those customers on their standard variable tariffs, yet switching to the cheapest deals on the market could save you £260 on average.
“Whilst these price cuts hogged the headlines, there is a real danger that customers are being lulled into a false sense of security, thinking they are benefitting from a good deal when they simply aren’t.
“To put it bluntly, if you’re on a standard variable tariff with the Big Six, you’re paying too much, whether they have made a price cut or not. Energy prices are at their lowest point for four years or so now, but only for those who seek out the best deal, so we urge everyone to see if they can save.”1
Ed Davey, Energy & Climate Change Secretary, who launched the campaign, says: “When it comes to switching, the power is in people’s hands to get a better deal and save.”1
The campaign encourages people to visit www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com and save money.
uSwitch’s Emma Bush, energy expert, says millions of families pay more than they should for energy: “DECC’s campaign to encourage households to shop around is to be welcomed.
“If more of us switched from expensive standard tariffs to cheaper deals, suppliers would work harder to attract and retain customers with lower prices and better customer service.
“This is why we have called on the Competition and Markets Authority to look at how to increase levels of consumer engagement in the market, as an essential way to boost competition and reduce bills.”1