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Regulator launches campaign to get Brits ‘shopping around’ for energy

Lucinda Beeman
Written By:
Lucinda Beeman

Energy regulator Ofgem has launched a new website aimed at helping consumers “shop around” for a better deal on their energy bills.

The website – www.goenergyshopping.co.uk – helps people “cut through the confusion” of comparing energy tariffs and provides consumers with the “know-how to check existing energy deals so they can get a better tariff”.

Research by the regulator found that an estimated 21 million Britons do not shop around for their energy provider, despite the potential to save hundreds.

One in four bill payers felt that shopping around for energy would be too much of a hassle, while almost half (45 per cent) said they do not think they would save much money – a misconception, according to Ofgem’s research – as Londoners save an average of £50 a month, Welsh residents save £44, and those in the North East save £43.

The campaign follows a raft of recent reforms from the regulator aimed at simplifying tariffs and improving competition in the energy market.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive at Ofgem, said: “We shop around and compare prices for many things in life, yet we often don’t think to do the same when it comes to our energy bills. Previously people found it difficult to compare tariffs, but the recent reforms have changed things for the better.”

Mark Todd, director of independent comparison site energyhelpline.com, welcomed the campaign.

He said: “On average a UK home switches energy providers once every eight years, far too infrequently to make the market work properly.

“I urge everyone to actively choose their deal rather than settle for what they have always had or the supplier that the last occupants of your property chose.”

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy, added: “Having made the switch myself, I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to check whether their current supplier is giving them the best deal – and if it isn’t, switch.”