Switching scepticism gifts £2.1 billion a year to energy companies

Research conducted by Make It Cheaper reveals that switching scepticism gifts £2.1 billion a year to energy companies.

Energy companies are pocketing over £2 billion a year because nearly half (45%) of consumers remain sceptical about making any savings by switching supplier. This despite nine out of ten (91%) households now being able to cut an average of £226 a year from their energy bills by switching, according to research from MakeItCheaper.com.*

Worryingly, well over a third (39%) of those who have actually switched energy supplier in the past say they have been put-off doing it again. For example, one in five (19%) blames a bad experience of switching and - even when the switch went smoothly - one in ten (11%) say it's still too much hassle to make it worthwhile.

20-30 year olds are the most disengaged when it comes to switching with not only the lowest number of switchers in this age group but also the fewest serial switchers - ie those who have changed supplier more than once. Only 30% of 20-something switchers have ever repeated the exercise, compared to an average of 48% of switchers in older age groups successfully going on to switch a second, third, fourth or more times.

Scott Byrom, energy expert at MakeItCheaper.com, commented:

"The simple fact is the energy market is full of cheaper deals but fewer than 10% of customers each year seek them out. As such, most people languish on more expensive 'standard' tariffs and then feel cheated when the suppliers announce huge profits."

To counter concerns that switching is often a thankless task, MakeItCheaper.com has launched a new free service for households that guarantees a switch onto a cheaper energy tariff within six months, or it will pay £100. It uses its experience of the more-complex commercial energy sector to manage the process of switching smoothly between one supplier and another - or to simply negotiate a better rate for its customers with their existing one.

Byrom continues:

"For six years now MakeItCheaper.com has been helping out businesses that are stranded on high tariffs switch on to market leading prices and we know how frustrating it can be, for whatever reason, to be denied a decent saving. We now have a solution for consumers with the same 'once-bitten, twice-shy' attitude to switching but who still want to be on the best rates."

With a total of 20 suppliers offering deals, MakeItCheaper.com's household energy panel is already wider than almost all of the price comparison websites, meaning its customers have very little work to do in finding a cheaper option. To see a comparison of the most comprehensive domestic energy supplier panels, visit www.makeitcheaper.com/panels.

Diane Lant at Stonegate from Hull said:

"Since I learnt about your service a few years ago I have always come back to using you when we need to change our energy suppliers. I do this for the business I work with and, because I found you so helpful and the whole process so easy, I started using you for my home energy as well."

Mave Lindars at Leopold Professional Services in Barnet added:

"When renewal time nears, I know that I will get a call from Make It Cheaper and there's no stress for me. One of my colleagues has now sorted out his domestic fuel supply as well and is very pleased!"

- ENDS -

*About the research

MakeItCheaper.com surveyed the switching habits and opinions among 2,853 energy consumers across the UK.

The £226 average savings figure is calculated from 13,950 domestic energy comparisons made in February 2013: 91% of which resulted in a positive saving, 62% >£100, 40% >£200 and 22% >£300.

The £2.1 billion headline figure is calculated as follows:

23m households x 91% able to save x 45% unconvinced x £226 average saving lost = £2,128,581,000

About Make It Cheaper

Based in Central London with 126 staff, MakeItCheaper.com has been the No.1 destination for businesses to get a better deal on their utilities since its launch in 2007. Following its acquisition of UK Power in 2012, MakeItCheaper.com also now provides competitive energy prices and expert advice for household energy consumers. Acting on behalf of all its customers with total impartiality, transparency and free-of-charge, MakeItCheaper.com offers deals from the widest range of energy companies including all of the 'Big 6' and over 20 of the smaller domestic and non-domestic suppliers. For businesses it also offers year-on-year savings across other overheads including: telecoms, insurance and merchant services (Chip & PIN). By switching suppliers or helping to renegotiate deals with existing ones, MakeItCheaper.com will typically save over 30% of costs (as well as a considerable amount of time) that its customers can then spend elsewhere. Make It Cheaper has been in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 for the past two years and its 2012 Net Promoter Score was 74%.

Further Information: Nick Heath 0207 654 0730 / 07720 297972 / nick.heath@makeitcheaper.com.

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