Rising bills see consumers switch energy suppliers


Recent rises in household energy bills have prompted a record number of consumers to switch suppliers in order to save money, new research has found.

Energy regulator Ofgem said that some 900,000 customers switched gas or electricity suppliers in March, 200,000 more than did so at the same time last year.

The increase in the number of consumers prepared to shop around for a more competitive deal comes amid rising gas and electricity prices in the UK, which have soared by more than 40 per cent over the last two years as a result of growing wholesale energy costs.

In its latest report on the state of competition within the country's energy industry, Ofgem said people were taking advantage of "wide differences" in prices charged by different gas and electricity suppliers.

The industry regulator claims that customers who have never switched supplier before could save up to £110 a year by doing so, with unclaimed savings across Britain thought to amount to around £1 billion.

Ofgem said its latest figures showed that strong competition between residential energy suppliers was continuing to "protect British consumers".

Commenting, Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: "Competition is so vigorous that not only can you change your supplier, but you can also choose from a selection of tariffs."

"This variety of options means that there are significant savings to be made for all customers, including those on pre-payment meters," he added.

But consumer group Energywatch told the BBC that the decision of more consumers to switch energy supplies was not a "panacea" to rising gas and electricity prices and stressed that more efforts were needed to secure the UK's future energy supply.

A spokesperson from the Department of Trade and Industry welcomed the report's findings, saying that "it's encouraging that people are making the most of competition in our energy market".

"There are savings still to be made, despite higher prices and increasing prices. I think it's because there are very high prices at the moment."

Bookmark with:
Bookmark with: Digg Digg Bookmark with: Del.icio.us Delicious Bookmark with: Reddit Reddit Bookmark with: StumbleUpon StumbleUpon Bookmark with: Google Google Bookmark with: Technorati Technorati Bookmark with: Netvouz Netvouz

Latest News:

Search News
News Front Page
Accountancy / Tax
Advertising / PR
Armed Forces
Aviation / Aerospace
Banking / Finance
Charities / Voluntary
Childcare / Youth
Construction / Property
Customer Services
Education / Training / Teaching
Emergency Services
Engineering / Electronics
Entertainment / TV / Theatre
Graduate Roles
HR / Recruitment
Health / Beauty
Hotel / Catering / Restaurants
IT / Internet
Insurance / Pensions
International / Overseas
Management / Business
Manufacturing / Industry
Media / New Media / Creative
Medical / Healthcare
Pharmaceutical Industry
Public Sector
Retail / Wholesale
Sales / Purchasing / Marketing
Science / Technology
Secretarial / PA / Admin
Skilled / Semi-skilled Manual
Transport / Logistics
Travel / Tourism / Leisure