As colder weather sets in, the Government revealed new figures estimating that 11 million households still stand to save £200 or more by switching their gas and electricity supplier.
However a recent poll of over 2000 adults conducted by the Government found:
- Only six per cent realised they could save £200 or more by switching;
- 21 per cent actually estimated they would only save £50 or less; while
- almost two in three people said they had no idea how much they could save.
The findings today mark the second phase of the Government’s Power to Switch campaign – which in February this year encouraged 130,000 homes to shop around for a better deal, saving an estimated £38 million in total from annual bills.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said:
“As a One Nation Government on the side of the consumer, our priority is to get bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses. The Government is doing its part to promote competition and give people real choice when it comes to energy deals.
“Thanks to Government action, there are now over 31 domestic suppliers in the market, new comparison tools and clear usage information on all bills. Switching is faster too, and our ambition is for consumers to switch in just 24 hours by 2018.
“It’s now time for energy consumers to take their share of the savings on offer – an estimated £2.2 billion. There’s never been a better time to switch and save more than you think.”
Bill payers don’t have to find the details on their energy bills to switch. Government-mandated QR codes on all energy bills now mean they can scan and automatically load key energy details, such as usage and current tariff onto smartphone and tablet apps, specially developed by price comparison sites.
Scanning QR codes using these apps can help people shop around quicker and easier than before. Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy of uSwitch, said:
“With winter almost upon us, many consumers will be dreading higher energy bills, so now is the perfect time to shop around.
“There are many new, competitive deals on the market and – with government initiatives like faster switching and QR codes on bills – changing energy tariff and saving hundreds of pounds a year has never been quicker or easier.
“I’d urge consumers to take control of their energy bills before the cold weather starts to bite.”
The Power to Switch campaign runs throughout October and will support the Big Energy Saving Week 2015 – which will see hundreds of outreach events across the UK help vulnerable consumers with their energy bills. Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, which is partnering with government on the events, said:
“Switching energy supplier now could make heating your home this winter much more affordable.
“Citizens Advice helps thousands of people a year who are struggling to afford their fuel bills. Being on the best deal, saving energy where possible and getting support to switch where needed can have a massive impact on consumers’ ability to manage their energy costs.
“If you are struggling with energy bills or need help switching, Citizens Advice can help. We also have tools available to help people compare suppliers.”
Earlier this week Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced that the Government will work with Ofgem and Citizens Advice to strengthen the Energy Ombudsman’s role in relation to recurring, industry-wide customer complaints.