Supermarket energy deals could cost you hundredsWhich? reveals cost of switching via supermarket deals
15 February 2012
Shoppers could be left hundreds of pounds worse off if they fall for energy companies' deals in shopping centres and supermarkets, a Which? investigation has discovered.
The Which? investigation found that salespeople from the large energy companies were quoting annual savings of between £20 and £142 pounds.
But in reality, researchers would have been left between £39 and £311 worse off by switching.
All of the energy salespeople based predicted savings on the assumption that customers were on a standard tariff. But customers on a cheaper tariff would have been left out of pocket.
When asked, only two out of 13 energy salespeople admitted there might be better deals from other energy companies.
In a separate investigation, Which? also found that energy companies were not always providing accurate information or quotes when researchers called for the cheapest deal.
For the full results of our investigations see our guide - Energy sales: don't get caught out.
Which? takes action
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: 'It’s simply not good enough for energy salespeople to be quoting misleading individual savings to people who sign up to switch in supermarkets.
'It’s little wonder that trust in the energy sector is so low. Which? wants the energy suppliers to build confidence among consumers that switching is both simple and worthwhile.
'That is why we’ve launched The Big Switch. By joining together we can bargain harder and negotiate the best possible deal. The more people who sign up the stronger our bargaining power will be with the energy companies.'
What Which? wants
Which? is calling on all energy companies to make clear to consumers that in-store quotes are estimates.
And Which? would like companies to sign up to a voluntary agreement to encourage customers to phone the supplier post-sale to get a more accurate quote.
Advice on what to watch out for when signing up to an energy deal in store can be found in our advice guide for supermarket energy deals.
The Big Switch
People who want a cheaper deal on their energy bills can join The Big Switch - a new collective switching campaign launched by Which? and online campaigners 38 Degrees.
It's the first time in the UK that so many people - currently over 85,000 - will join together for a cheaper deal. Which? is aiming to negotiate a deal with energy companies on behalf of those who have joined.
Consumers have until 31 March to sign up at www.whichbigswitch.co.uk.