Are you paying too much for your energy?
Posted by Gabby Mallett on 25 January 2016 at 10:45 am
Oh, how many times have I thought about this? Back in 2012 Cathy Debenham promoted switching energy supplier. Well now there is even more reason to switch, because we are all paying TOO MUCH!
It turns out that most of our energy companies are overcharging us. And there really is nothing to stop them, that’s as long as none of us bother to switch and find a better supplier. In 2011 about 800,000 people switched each month. By 2013 that figure was down to 340,000 a month and by March 2015 it was only back up to 400,000. In fact about 90% of households stay with the Big Six.
So why should you be switching now? Well, Ofgem, the energy industry regulator has reported that although wholesale energy costs have fallen by about a third in the past year or so, most of that saving has not been passed on to consumers.
We have all seen petrol prices falling, so why aren’t we up in arms calling for reductions in our fuel bills too? It’s all back to this switching issue. If your energy company can leave their rate unchanged and they know that by far the majority of people will stay with them and keep paying that rate, then why would they bother to reduce their prices.
On the other hand if we all sought out the cheapest rates and switched to new suppliers then all the energy companies would start competing to offer the best rates.
Fixed rates tend to be the most competitive, but most of us languish on the basic standard rates and don’t bother looking to see if we can get a cheaper deal. Dermot Nolan is chief executive of Ofgem and he said that energy companies were ‘not facing strong enough competitive challenges’.
The energy industry has already been referred to the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate whether there is any anti-competitive behaviour taking place and their report is due out soon.
But why wait for that report. There are two things you can do. The first is to contact your own supplier and ask them about the cheapest rate that they can offer you. The second is to look if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Many people who do switch find that they save literally hundreds of pounds a year.
So, don’t delay, switch today.
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