Gas and electricity Updated:
We wouldn't think of settling for the first holiday we find and most of us regularly use comparison sites to find the best insurance deals, so why are we so reluctant to search out the best offers when it comes to energy tariffs?
Research carried out by the Be An Energy Shopper campaign has revealed that 33% of Brits are concerned about their energy bills, yet 43% don't prioritise shopping around for a better deal.
In the past, switching energy supplier had been quite an ordeal but Ofgem has been working hard to make it much easier and fairer for customers who want to switch to better deals – but it doesn't seem that people are taking advantage of this, despite the fact it could save them money.
Dermot Nolan, chief executive at Ofgem, says: "We shop and compare prices for many things in life, yet we often don't think to do the same when it comes to our energy bills, even when we could be saving around £200."
When it come to gadgets such as mobile phones we seek out the best contract with the most minutes and shiniest phone, and many of us regularly compare broadband deals, so it's time to start including energy in those comparison searches.
Energy is something we use every day and prices have regularly been hitting the headlines for their constant increases. The big six energy companies tend to dominate the market which makes it all the more important to look for that competitive tariff, which could just as easily come from a smaller supplier.
In the last two weeks alone several independent suppliers have launched highly competitive deals, so it looks as if the energy price war is finally underway. Mark Todd, of independent price comparison site energyhelpline.com, said: "The smaller suppliers are sending warning signals to the 'Big Six' stating that they are not to be underestimated and are well and truly a force to be reckoned with. Consumers need to step back and ask themselves where they stand on standard prices. Customers should not take the gamble on their hard earned cash, as switching can save."
However, with 53% of consumers claiming they are confused by their energy tariffs it's no wonder many are put off the idea of switching, and a further 24% say they think shopping around for energy would be too much hassle. But, happily, 16% say they feel they would save money if they shopped around – so what are you waiting for?
It may take a little time and effort, but with savings of up to £200 at stake it will be time well spent and with energy bills being something that will always be hitting our doormats, a little effort now can go a long way to saving you money in the future.
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.
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