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Energy ‘price rise shock’

Big Six price hikes could bump bills up by 18% – but customers need help switching
Energy ‘price rise shock’

Nearly a third of households want verbal support, through face-to-face or phone advice, on how to switch energy suppliers as price rises of up to 18% on gas and electricity bills come into effect, according to new research.

Understand your energy bill?

The nationwide study, from MoneyExpert.com, found 29% of households – the equivalent of 7.9 million customers – would welcome phone or face-to-face support to find the most competitive gas and electricity prices. Around two million people – particularly the over-55s – would prefer face-to-face support with switching provider.

Nearly half (46%) of those who have never switched, or not moved for five years, admit they don’t understand how their energy bill is worked out. By contrast two-thirds (66%) of those who have moved say they understand how their bill is calculated.

£232 saving

Regulator Ofgem estimates the average household can save around £232 a year by switching ahead of a range of price announcements from the Big Six suppliers, which range from price freezes at British Gas and electricity price increases of 18.1% at EDF.

‘Every gas and electricity customer should shop around as price rises are being pushed through by almost all major suppliers but the issue is that millions are not confident about moving.’

MIKE ROWE
Chief operations officer at MoneyExpert.com

The research from MoneyExpert.com, which has helped 500,000 customers switch in five years, shows one in five households – around 5.4 million – have never moved supplier while another 18% have not moved for more than five years.

A third don’t know how to switch

Around 58% say they are happy with their current deal but nearly a third (31%) admit they do not understand how to switch.

Despite repeated education campaigns, people aren’t reducing their electricity consumption to save the planet or reduce their bills; 13% of households do not try to keep their bills down by switching off lights and choosing energy saving appliances.

‘Switching online suits most customers but it is clear that millions prefer guidance on how to it and would welcome face-to-face or phone support on making the move.

‘That is understandable when price tariffs include a wide range of options including standard variable and fixed tariffs. Our own experience shows more than half of those who move supplier would never have done so unless they had been contacted.’

MIKE ROWE
Chief operations officer at MoneyExpert.com

MoneyExpert.com’s figures show 36% of energy customers believe the part of the country they live in affects their bill while one in five (18%) believe whether they pay by direct debit has no impact on the price they pay.

Click here to use MoneyExpert.com’s calculator and compare energy tariffs.

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