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Consumer chief Richard Lloyd shows it’s never too late to become a switcher
Executive director of Which? admits he spent years paying too much for gas and electricity.
Practice what you preach, so the saying goes.
If you dish out advice that you don't heed yourself, there are only two ways to keep your integrity intact: stop dishing or start heeding.
Richard Lloyd chose the latter.
Lloyd is the head of Which?, the UK's most respected consumer group. As an organisation, Which? has always recommended switching energy supply to any homeowner that will listen. But, in a feature in The Sunday Times about financial gurus making financial boo-boos, Lloyd admitted that he'd never attempted to find himself a better deal on home energy.
That was until a campaign run by Which? opened his eyes to the amount of extra money he and his family was missing out on. Once Lloyd did engage with the market, he found it was very much worth his while, because he saved somewhere in the region of £150 in the first year after switching.
"It seems a ridiculous thing to confess but I overpaid for my household gas and electricity for years", Lloyd told the weekend newspaper. "My advice to anyone is to go through your household bills and see how much you can save by switching. It's a no brainer."
"I overpaid for my household gas and electricity for years. My advice to anyone is to go through your household bills and see how much you can save by switching. It's a no brainer."
- Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?
And his experience demonstrates that it's never too late to join the switchers. Plenty of people are reticent about switching because they know energy is overpriced and they don't really believe they're paying more than others - or they don't know how to go about finding a cheaper deal.
Well, if you've never had any engagement with your energy supplier it's almost inevitable that - like Lloyd before his eureka moment - you're on a supplier's standard tariff.
Fact: these standard agreements have a significantly higher unit rate and daily standing charge than the market's most competitive tariffs. We're talking in the region of 30% higher. As for how - well, there are a host of websites that offer free, impartial and comprehensive price comparison and switching services. You're on one such site - a highly reputable one - right now.
So many people never get round to switching their energy supply, but very few regret taking the plunge. The fact that it takes so little time and reaps such tangible rewards should trump any reservations.
With a number of the Big Six suppliers having posted their half-year profits in recent weeks, energy bills have once again hit the headlines as the nation holds its breath amid the likelihood of further price rises.
So, our advice to home and business owners continues to be the same: switch your energy tariff.
If you won't take it from me, take it from Richard Lloyd.
Image credit: Richard Lloyd's Twitter page