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UK wastes billions through energy inertia

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01/10/2008

Nearly 14 million households are wasting an average of £490 each per year, or a total of £6.8 billion, by not switching energy provider, according to Confused.

With energy prices rising across the board, and consumers continuing to feel the squeeze, it is important for them to find the best tariff for their personal circumstances.

Fixed-rate tariffs can initially be more expensive than the best uncapped tariffs but offer customers the certainty of knowing their energy costs will not rise during the fixed-rate period.

However customers should explore all options to ensure they are on a tariff that is not only competitive but suits their individual circumstances. Continuing on an existing tariff could cost consumers dearly if they simply stick with the standard tariff that one in two households are currently on.

With approximately 14,000 tariffs on the market, it is important for consumers to regularly check that they have chosen the appropriate tariff for their levels of energy consumption.

Something as simple as hanging washing on the line throughout the summer, rather than using a tumble-dryer, can mean that a different tariff could be more appropriate.

Gareth Kloet, head of utilities at Confused, said: “In some areas of the UK, up to 80% of the population is still using the host supplier and are therefore spending more money than they need to.

“Many people shy away from switching, as they think that it will be a difficult process, but it is actually very simple. In fact, if you have not secured a competitive fixed rate, you should look to switch every six months – just switching to an online tariff and paying by direct debit could save £490 per year.

“Targeting the UK’s inertia when it comes to switching energy providers could help consumers to claw back some of the £6.8bn which is lost every year – a very appealing prospect, considering that we are increasingly feeling the financial squeeze.”

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