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Energy loyalty costs Britons billions

Tuesday 19th April 2011
UK consumers could save nearly a quarter (23%) on their energy bills by moving to the cheapest available product - meaning a staggering saving of £3.2billion for households across Britain.

Research by moneysupermarket.com shows British Gas is currently winning the 2011 price war. Its Websaver 11 product is the best value tariff across 13 out of the 14 UK regions. However, this deal may not be around for long, as a number of other providers have withdrawn some of their lowest cost products which has forced up the average price of the cheapest deals.

Bill payers who have never switched from the traditional energy provider for their region (the incumbent provider) living in the East of England for example, currently pay around £1151 a year on a standard tariff paying quarterly by cash or cheque. Switching to British Gas Websaver 11 would reduce their bills to £859 per year. That's a saving of £291 and would mean they'd pay the least across the UK for their energy.

Across Britain, households who have never switched provider could save an impressive £265 a year on average if they moved from the incumbent provider's standard tariff and opted for the best value deal.

If all the households which are yet to change from their incumbent provider moved to the best possible deal, the country could collectively save £3.2billion on its energy bills.

Scott Byrom, utilities manager at moneysupermarket.com, said: "In the days before the energy market opened up to competition, British Gas provided gas to all energy regions while electricity was provided by one regional supplier, for example London Energy in London which now falls under EDF Energy.

"Despite the greater choice available to consumers for both gas and electricity, the majority of UK households remain with the providers who traditionally provide their gas and electricity. Anyone still loyal to their incumbent supplier is over paying for their gas and electricity. At a time when all UK households are feeling the pinch from the rising cost of living, people are still burning money by not shopping around, using comparison sites and switching to a much cheaper deal. Finding the right tariff for your consumption level and region means bill payers could save on average £265 per year."

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Mike Jones

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