Don't get caught by energy postcode lotteryVote with your feet, says Switch? with Which?

15 March 2008

A blue flame from a gas hob

Although there is no 'green gas', you can still switch your energy supplier to a green tariff

Where you live can determine how much you pay for gas and electricity, Switch with Which? warns today.

Since January Npower has varied gas prices across the UK to reflect the cost of piping it around the country, creating a postcode lottery for bill payers.

British Gas has also said it won't rule out regional pricing.

Previously, only electricity costs were subject to regional variation, but energy suppliers are now blaming piping and infrastructure costs for regional gas pricing.

Regional pricing

As gas suppliers adopt this pricing structure - and with the recent price increases - many people have seen their home energy bills rising above inflation to smash the £1,000 per year mark.

Siobhan Parker of Switch with Which? said: ‘The adoption of regional gas prices by some suppliers further emphasises price variations around the country.

‘Npower has announced an average gas increase of 12.8%, but customers living in regions such as London and the East Midlands are being hit with a much bigger price rise of 23.8%.

‘People must vote with their feet and seek out the best deal to combat the effects of what is ultimately a postcode lottery.’

Online tariffs

Moving house is one drastic solution to change tariff and lower energy bills, but there is an easier option.

Switch with Which? allows people to compare thousands of tariffs on a regional basis to find a cheaper supplier.

With an estimated 40% of people still on standard tariffs, Switch with Which? recommends that people with internet access consider an online tariff.

These can save hundreds of pounds because the energy companies pass on the savings from reduced paperwork.

Direct debit

Paying by monthly direct debit and opting for a dual fuel tariff could further reduce people’s annual energy bill.

Consumers could also avoid future price rises by switching to capped or fixed tariffs.