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Pricing postcode lottery for energy consumers

Energy deals cheaper in some areas than others

Plug socket

A new survey of energy prices has found customers in some parts of the country paying more than others for the same deal.

The research by uSwitch found the cost of the same energy plan for customers paying by the same method and using the same amount of energy varied by an average of £100 between the cheapest and most expensive regions.

Home region most expensive

The ‘big six’ energy suppliers – British Gas, Npower, EDF Energy, Eon, Scottish Power, and Scottish and Southern – all have ‘home regions’, where they were the monopoly supplier before deregulation of the industry in the 1990s. The survey found that suppliers often charge higher prices to customers living in their home regions.

EDF Energy, for example, charges its highest prices in its three home regions, meaning customers living in Bristol (Sweb), Brighton (Seeboard) and London will pay, respectively, £959, £945 and £939 a year for the same Energy Online Saver 6 tariff. Customers on the same plan and using the same amount of energy in Nottingham (East Midlands) pay just £865.

Check to see if you’re on the cheapest energy deal in your area using independent switching site Which? Switch. And don’t pay over the odds to run household gadgets – our review of the most energy-efficient home appliances show you those that use the least electricity.

East Midlands cheapest

The East Midlands energy region actually came out cheapest of the 14 regions overall. Here customers on the cheapest online deals offered by the big energy companies pay an average of £855 a year for gas and electricity. By contrast, in Cardiff (in the Swalec energy region) the average bill is £949 – the most expensive in the country.

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.

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