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UK households could save £1.4bn on energy bills

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17/01/2019
A third of people don’t know when their fixed-term energy tariff expires, leaving them at risk of moving onto expensive variable rates.

Around 14m UK households have fixed energy tariffs, according to comparethemarket.com, but around 4m of those households don’t know when their tariff will roll onto a standard variable tariff or other default. This could cost them as much as £300 per year, equal to £1.4bn across the UK.

One in ten (10%) UK home owners don’t know if they are on a Fixed or Standard Variable energy tariff and more than one in ten (12%) people rarely, or never, check their bills. Many pay through direct debit and get their bills online, making them less inclined to check. Nearly a quarter (23%) say they don’t read their energy bill because they don’t understand it, and a further 13% refuse to read their bills because they say it depresses them.

comparethemarket.com has launched an EnergyCheck service, which is designed to make it easier for people to decipher their energy bills and remain on the most competitive energy tariff. They can sign up once, set their savings preferences and receive regular alerts about potential savings available on the market, including when their fixed deal is about to expire.

UK households still want value for money: 85% of respondents would consider switching suppliers, while 74% said they have already switched.

Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said: “When it comes to energy, many people have no idea where to begin. The complexity of the energy market is clearly making households disengage from their bills, and, critically, a lot of people have no idea when their fixed tariff ends or if they have been rolled onto a Standard Variable Tariff. This leads to a significant, but totally avoidable, rise in the cost of energy for millions of homes.”

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