Some energy customers are paying more than 30 per cent more for their power than people in other parts of the country – even though they’re with the same supplier.
Britain’s six main energy providers have cut bills this year, but the reductions work out unequally across the UK’s 14 energy regions.
Energy companies that were the dominant supplier in a region before deregulation – or those that already have a large market share – usually charge more for their standard tariffs than companies trying to increase their customer base.
For example, a family in South Wales on a standard tariff who are prepayment customers and have average fuel usage will pay £1,084 a year for gas and electricity if they’re with Npower – that’s 13 per cent more than an equivalent family with the same supplier in East Anglia.
And if these families got only their electricity from Npower, the difference between bills would rise to 33 per cent.
Switch with Which?
If you get your electricity on a standard tariff from Scottish Power, have an average usage and pay by direct debit, in which region would you pay the most? That’s right, the Scottish Power region.
If you’ve never switched supplier you’re getting a poorer deal than those who have.
On average in 2006, households using Switch with Which? saved £245 year, with first-time switchers most likely to make big savings – up to £500 some cases.
Chris Gardner, Which? Commercial Director, says: ‘Consumers cannot influence the industry directly but they can control their position by seeking an up-to-date comparison and moving to a better deal through online switching services.’
|The standard rate, dual fuel charge for a medium user paying by direct debit|
|Region||British Gas||EDF Energy||npower||Powergen||Scottish Power||Scottish and Southern Energya|
Standard and online Rate: Bill calculations are based on annual consumptions of 1,650 kWh (low), 3,300 kWh (medium) and 4,950 kWh (high) for standard rate electricity. All prices shown include VAT at 5%. All prices reflect all known price changes at the time of publication. However, you should check with your chosen supplier before switching, to see if prices have changed.
- Scottish and Southern Energy: includes the following brands: Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro Electric, Swalec and Atlantic N/A: [No available tariff for this supplier or this payment type].