Energy Supplier Myths Could Cost Consumers

10 June 2013

Common misconceptions about switching energy suppliers may be responsible for millions of consumers paying more for their energy than is necessary, a recent survey has discovered.

A report carried out by Energy UK found that while almost four-in-five people would happily change energy suppliers if it would save them money, many were hesitant to do so because of preconceived beliefs about the process. Many of these preconceived beliefs were also inaccurate.

The news comes as the Government ramps up its campaign to promote the Green Deal, Cavity Wall Insulation and other energy-saving, carbon-reducing measures.

Getting the Wrong End of the Stick

The Energy UK report – which polled 2,015 adults in Great Britain –detailed the following findings:

  • 16% of those questioned believed that a new supplier would need access to their home.
  • 7% believed that the new supplier would also need to dig up the garden.
  • 9% believed that they would need to have a new meter installed when switching suppliers.
  • 59% of those polled were of the belief that it was impossible to make the switch if they owed their current supplied money.

None of these is in fact true. Instead, they are common myths associated with switching energy suppliers.

“Our new research confirms there are still some outdated myths preventing people from seizing the opportunity of saving money through switching,” explained Angela Knight CBE, Chief Executive of Energy UK.

In order to debunk these myths, Energy UK has created a short animation to help nudge consumers in the right direction.

“Energy UK’s new 'Simple to Switch’ film will explode some of the common myths, answer some of the most common doubts about switching and help encourage more people to consider checking out the deals that are best for them.”

Switch Tariffs, Insulate, Save Money

Energy UK’s findings are in-line with those of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Recently, governmental changes were made forcing energy suppliers to reduce the number of tariffs available to customers, simplifying matters in the process.

With consumers still hesitant to switch tariffs or suppliers, the Government continues to attempt to reduce energy bills through the Green Deal.

The Green Deal allows householders to apply for a loan to make energy-saving home improvements – including Cavity Wall Insulation – without having to fund the improvements up-front. The cost of the loan is repaid through the property’s energy bill.

Under the ‘Golden Rule’ of the Green Deal, the cost of repaying the loan must not exceed the sum saved by making the improvement. This means that if a person pays £300 to have Cavity Wall Insulation fitted, the cost of savings must be equal to or greater than £300.

The Government hopes that the Green Deal coupled with initiatives to make switching energy tariffs and suppliers easier will in turn ease the financial burden on the British public.

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