UK consumers could save nearly 23 per cent on their energy bills by switching suppliers, according to a recent press release by price comparison site moneysupermarket.com. To put it into perspective, that amounts to a collective saving of £3.2 billion per year for British households.
Research by moneysupermarket highlighted that British Gas is currently the cheapest supplier in 2011, with its Websaver 11 product emerging as the industry’s best value tariff in a staggering 13 out of the 14 UK regions studied.
Moneysupermarket warned, however, that these low prices probably won’t stick around; a number of rival energy suppliers have rescinded some of their least expensive products, which has resulted in a rise in the average price of Britain’s energy contracts.
Bill payers who have never switched from their region’s incumbent provider currently pay much more for their energy than they would if they decided to compare gas and electricity prices with a view to ditching their misguided loyalty and switching.
For example, those who reside in Yorkshire currently pay approximately £1,149.99 a year on a standard tariff, while if they switched to British Gas Websaver 11, they’d see a reduction in their bills of £281.12 per year – that’s a saving of nearly 25 per cent.
Moneysupermarket.com’s utilities manager, Scott Byron, explained: “In the days before the energy market opened up to competition, British Gas provided gas to all energy regions while electricity was provided by one regional supplier, for example London Energy in London which now falls under EDF Energy.
“Despite the greater choice available to consumers for both gas and electricity, the majority of UK households remain with the providers who traditionally provide their gas and electricity. Anyone still loyal to their incumbent supplier is over paying for their gas and electricity. At a time when all UK households are feeling the pinch from the rising cost of living, people are still burning money by not shopping around, using comparison sites and switching to a much cheaper deal. Finding the right tariff for your consumption level and region means bill payers could save on average £265 per year.”
Mr Byron also detailed where to find the best deals and how to save money on energy bills, saying: “The best value deals available are the energy companies’ online tariffs. They enable consumers to pay monthly installments, record actual meter readings with an online account and cut out the need for estimated billing. Paying by monthly direct debit allows consumers to spread the cost of their energy evenly throughout the year and avoid the ‘bill shocks’ that come after the costly winter months when energy usage is at a peak. If households aren’t on this kind of deal they really need to act now. Times are still tough and even though the warmer months are on the way, there is never a bad time to start saving money on your energy bills.”