St Albans residents crowned UK’s savviest switchers
Residents of the Hertfordshire city have saved a combined £2.1m, £337 per household, according to uSwitch. Stockport is not far behind, with a £304 saving per household.
Households in London have among the lowest switching rates in spite of some of the highest energy bills. They are 29% below the national rate. Big Six customers in the capital facing some of the largest price increases (£95) this year, with average bills rising to £1,225.
Data from uSwitch showed another record year for energy switching, but major cities including Liverpool and Glasgow tend to lag. Households in Cardiff are 17% less likely to switch and those in Edinburgh 14% less likely. Leeds and Sheffield are more cost-conscious, switching 15% and 6% more than the average respectively.
The least likely areas to switch are those in the Outer Hebrides and the Shetlands with habits influenced by being off the gas grid, fewer suppliers operating in the area and more micro-generation of energy.
The research also found that bill payers are more concerned about their payments this year, with over half (52%) of bill payers already worrying about paying for heating over the winter, compared to less than a third last year.
According to uSwitch.com data, over half (56%) of switchers this year were male compared to 44% female. The propensity to switch partly corresponds with age with younger generations the least likely to switch. This compares with over three quarters of 35-54 year olds (77%) and those over 55 (78%) who have switched. However, it doesn’t seem to correspond with income: 57% of those earning under £10,000 per year have switched before while this rises to at least 72% in all income brackets above £10,000 per year.
While challenger brands continue to steal market share from the energy giants, three quarters of bill payers (75%) are still with a Big Six supplier. That is in spite of widespread mistrust of the energy giants – 43% of bill payers say they don’t trust the Big Six to offer a good value deal. The research shows that money isn’t the only reason to switch with customer service (18%), rewards (18%) and being offered a fixed deal (16%) also factors. Using green energy is also a bigger consideration for bill payers today than it has been in the past.
Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “On average there has been over one price rise a week since Christmas last year, and to date, 2018 is on course to be another record year for bill payers changing supplier. Ahead of the energy price cap coming in, consumers need to know that it is likely to push up the cost of standard tariffs from April. It may even rise again next October. But instead of staying put and being lulled into a false sense of security, households can avoid the cap trap and save far more money by taking just ten minutes to shop around for a better deal.”