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Households overpaid £1,000 on energy in just four years

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

UK households have lost out on more than £1,000 of savings in the past four years by staying loyal to their energy supplier.

The average household has stuck with the same energy supplier for four years, which means they may have missed out on £1,232 of savings by failing to switch to a cheaper deal.

But for some households, the overpayments could be even greater, according to’s research.

It found nearly a third (30%) of households have been with their provider for five or more years while 14% admit they’ve been with the same supplier for 11 years or more.

As well as paying more for energy, a number of households don’t fully understand how their energy company should behave, saying their supplier is rarely in touch. As a result 8% said they are looking to a new supplier which “better understands their needs”.

In spite of the harsh reality of lost savings, households are looking to switch suppliers as one in 10 said they are spurred on for change due to lack of communication from their supplier and because their bills were too difficult to understand.

A similar number felt that poor customer service was a key reason they decided to switch supplier.

Peter Earl, head of energy at, said: “Households that are staying with the same provider for years on end, are likely to have been rolled over onto uncompetitive Standard Variable Tariffs which are often much more expensive than a fixed rate tariff.

“These findings clearly demonstrate how important it is to shop around for your energy provider. Few households can afford a £300 additional annual expense, but our research shows that it is not only price which convinces people to shop around. Factors like poor communication and complexity of bills also play a big part. In order to remain competitive, energy suppliers need to show customers they care, not only when it comes to price but also with improved levels of customer service too.”