More than 60% of EU consumers would save money by swapping to the least expensive tariff for their electricity bill, according to a study carried out by the European Commission.
The average consumer could save €100 (roughly £84) – but the majority of us are failing to take advantage of the savings opportunities offered by shopping around.
Which? deputy home editor Natalie Hitchins says: ‘Cash savings from switching could be even greater than the the figures quoted in the EU study, depending on your circumstances – especially if you switch both your gas and electricity suppliers.
‘Those switching to a dual fuel tariff with Which? Switch between 24 March and 9 September 2010 saved an annual average of £270.’
Reluctant to switch energy tariffs
In all but seven EU countries, the number of consumers switching tariffs is less than 10%, which means that the vast majority of consumers are sticking with their current electricity supplier year after year.
Market research shows that less than a third of EU electricity users even bother to compare rates, let alone switch.
Use less energy, pay more
The 2010 study shows that in most EU countries, households consuming less energy actually pay more per unit than those consuming more – so it could pay to look around even if your annual energy consumption is low.
The European Commission wants a series of actions to be implemented to improve the situation for consumers, including guidelines for making it easier to compare energy prices, and to switch suppliers.
If you’re unsure how to switch energy company, or are switching for the first time, read our guide on switching suppliers.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader.
Follow @WhichNews on Twitter for the latest news, or @WhichAction to see how we’re campaigning for consumers.