If you’re among the 70% plus of households on a standard energy tariff, chances are you’re paying over the odds for your gas and electricity.
A standard electricity tariff costs £54 (or 9%) more than other deals on average. But according to government figures, three quarters of customers – around 21 million – are still on standard electricity tariffs despite changes last year to make switching energy supplier easier.
Standard gas tariffs are also more expensive than other gas deals, by 10% or £75, but around 16 million customers are still on one.
If you’re on a standard energy tariff, check how much money switching energy supplier could save you with our free and independent energy price comparison site Which? Switch.
Which? calls for action on energy tariffs
To avoid confusion with energy deals and to help make switching energy supplier easier, new rules in early 2014 forced energy providers to reduce the number of deals and show their cheapest deals on energy bills. But these government figures show that nothing has significantly changed since then – only 11% of people switched electricity supplier and 10% switched their gas supplier in 2014.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently investigating the energy market and will report back on its findings on the energy sector in April 2016. When it does, we want to see proposals, tested with consumers, that will encourage more people to switch energy deal and protect the most vulnerable customers.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘It’s clear that the people who would benefit the most from switching supplier are still not moving. The CMA must reverse this trend if its lengthy investigation is to bring about a competitive market with fair energy prices.
‘The CMA must find ways to ensure many more people are confident to switch to better deals and at the same time protect vulnerable customers from paying over the odds.’
Five ways to save money on energy
Follow our top tips to cut your energy bills this winter:
- Switch energy supplier – compare energy suppliers and tariffs to find the cheapest, whether you want to switch electricity supplier, gas or dual both.
- Check your boiler to make sure it’s in good working order. If you have a boiler with an energy efficiency rating of G, it would be guzzling a lot more energy than it needs to, so consider replacing it with a new Best Buy condensing boiler.
- Insulate your home – fitting loft insulation and cavity wall insulation can save you up to £300 on your heating bills per year after the first couple of years when savings repay installation costs.
- Turn down your thermostat – even a 1°C reduction could save you around £85 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
- Stop the draughts – read our guide on draughtproofing to find out about small changes that could add up to £50 saving per year.