Posts with tag: be an energy shopper

£2.7bn Lost by Families not Changing Energy Supplier

Published On: February 16, 2015 at 10:34 am


Categories: Finance News

Tags: ,,,

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

£2.7bn Lost by Families not Changing Energy Supplier

£2.7bn Lost by Families not Changing Energy Supplier

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 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




Tips for Saving Money on Energy

Published On: January 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm


Categories: Finance News

Tags: ,,

Three quarters of tenants who pay their own bills have never changed electricity or gas supplier to get a better deal, says Ofgem, the energy regulator.

Tips for Saving Money on Energy

Tips for Saving Money on Energy

One in five renters are not even aware that they can switch provider, even though they could save up to £200. Tenants are just half as likely to change compared to homeowners.1

Landlords should encourage tenants to look around for the best deals, and always remind potential tenants to consider the whole cost of renting, including the bills.

Recently, the Be an Energy Shopper campaign emphasised tenants’ rights to change their energy supplier if they hold responsibility for paying the bills. Information can be found at:

Some tenancy agreements state that tenants must inform their landlord before switching supplier, however, if they are directly responsible for paying such bills, then they have the right to change. Even if there is a clause in the contract saying that tenants cannot switch, if they pay energy bills, they should be free to decide who they use.

Good communication between landlord and tenant will ensure that the landlord is aware of any changes that the tenant makes regarding energy supplier. The landlord can also request that the provider be changed back at the end of the tenancy.

Some landlords provide their properties with bills included. In this case, tenants cannot switch provider, as it is the landlord who has the contract with the energy company.

If the landlord holds the account, they too can shop around for a better deal.

Some useful tips on saving money:

  • Ask the tenant to take meter readings upon moving in and out of the property, to be sent to the energy provider.
  • Identify any supplier tie-ins at the start of the agreement to the tenant.
  • Tell the tenants if they must inform you when changing energy suppliers.
  • Remember that if the tenant pays the bills, they are entitled to change provider.