Energy loyalty sees Brits waste £2.5billion, says moneysupermarket

15 May 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
British consumers are wasting as much as £2.5billion a year on their energy bills, by remaining loyal to their provider and not shopping around for the best deal, has discovered.

By languishing on the tariff of their region's traditional supplier, each UK household could be wasting an average £241 a year, moneysupermarket has calculated, proving that loyalty does not pay when it comes to utilities.

They could cut the cost of their energy bills simply by comparing the other tariffs available in their area and switching to the most competitive energy provider, the comparison website urges.

Despite the saving to be made, however, almost half of the UK's households remain loyal to the incumbent provider, according to the latest figures from Ofgem, by not moving to a better deal.

Scott Byrom, utilities manager at, says that it is concerning to see so many bill payers wasting money on their gas and electricity by not shopping around at a time when every penny counts.

"I would urge anyone who is unhappy with the cost of their bills to move to an online tariff with paperless billing as soon as possible, and reap the rewards of being on the cheapest deal available," he recommends.

"It's true that despite this year's price cuts the impact of last year's unprecedented price hikes is still hitting wallets hard so it's crucial to take action immediately to cut costs where ever possible. There are definitely savings to be had by taking ownership of your bills and staying savvy to the best deals on the market.

Spreading the cost of energy bills, and in some cases getting a discount, by paying with direct debit is also worth considering, Mr Byrom suggests, and online billing enables customers to give accurate meter readings top their provider and to take charge of their own bills.

Meanwhile, rival comparison site has also found that households are paying too much for their electricity, up to 33 per cent more than if they shopped around.

UK bill payers could save as much as £111 a year 'loyalty tax' if they were to switch from their regional favourite to the most competitive deal for their area, uSwitch says.

The average household could save 15 per cent, or £58 a year, could potentially add up to a total of £681million, but is easily avoidable, the website says.

The news comes after British Gas announced this week that it is cutting its electricity prices by 10 per cent, increasing the level of competition in the energy market.

"Consumers have to understand that there is no reward for loyalty. The cheapest prices and best deals are being offered time and time again to those who are prepared to change suppliers," says Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at

She added: "There are three easy steps to getting a better energy deal: move to dual fuel, pay by direct debit and sign up to an online plan. Importantly, make sure any comparison is based on your personal circumstances, including where you live, so that you know you are winning the postcode lottery."

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