Gas and electricity Updated:
Do you wish it was easier to switch gas and electricity supplier? According to research from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), 34% of bill payers have never considered switching, but there are concerns that much of this could be due to the perceived difficulty involved. That's why the Government is stepping in.
The CMA's review found that suppliers are able to charge higher prices to customers who don't shop around for the best deal. Essentially, this means that if you don't compare the options (and switch accordingly) you're highly likely to be paying too much, so if you haven't considered switching before, it's time to get round to it!
Happily, there could soon be one less reason for you not to switch, with the Government announcing that it's going to introduce 24-hour switching in 2018, down from the current average of 17 days. Furthermore, by 2020, some 53 million smart meters will be installed, bringing an end to estimated billing and ensuring you're able to get a fair deal. So, not only will it be easier to compare prices by using accurate energy usage figures, but you'll be able to switch to a new deal faster, too.
The announcement has been widely welcomed by the industry and consumer groups, with there having long been concerns that customers are paying too much for their gas and electricity bills. "Any move from the Government that simplifies switching for the consumer is a step in the right direction," said Mark Todd, director at comparison site energyhelpline.com.
"Too many households are paying far too much for their energy, with loyalty to a supplier only resulting in higher costs and sub-par customer service. Customers really can't rest on their laurels if they want to save money. They must protect themselves by being savvy and switching.
"We have been saying for a long time: if you don't switch, only your supplier will get rich. Hopefully, reducing the switching window from a few weeks to just 24 hours will encourage more to shop around for the best deal, safe in the knowledge that they will see immediate savings."
But, if you want to get a better deal right now, don't wait for 24-hour switching – compare the options and switch today! It may seem like a hassle, but it could be a small price to pay for potentially significant savings: energyhelpline.com figures show that customers can save as much as £533 simply by switching tariff. Why not be one of them? Compare tariffs and see if you can cut your bills down to size.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.