Sticking by our energy suppliers costs us £3.2bn a year

British households could save a staggering £3.2 billion on their energy bills by switching to the cheapest available plans, according to new research from moneysupermarket.com.

In many cases, making the move could slash their energy costs by nearly a quarter, or 23%.


If, for example, you live in the East of England and have never switched from the traditional energy provider for your region, otherwise know as the incumbent provider, you would pay around £1,151 a year on a standard tariff paying quarterly by cash or cheque.

However, switching to British Gas Websaver 11 – currently the best value tariff in 13 of the 14 regions making up the UK – would cut your bills to just £859 a year.

That's a saving of £291, or 25% of the total bill. And those living in the East of England are not the only ones who could make big savings by switching suppliers.

Across Britain, households who have never switched provider could save an impressive £265 a year on average if they moved from the incumbent provider's standard tariff and opted for the best value deal instead.

Scott Byrom, utilities manager at moneysupermarket.com, said: "In the days before the energy market opened up to competition, British Gas provided gas to all energy regions while electricity was provided by one regional supplier, for example London Energy in London which now falls under EDF Energy.

"Despite the greater choice available to consumers for both gas and electricity, the majority of UK households remain with the providers who traditionally provide their gas and electricity.

"Anyone still loyal to their incumbent supplier is therefore over paying for their gas and electricity, probably by around £265 a year."

The cheapest deals are likely to be those that are managed online, mainly because these are the cheapest plans for the energy companies to run.

As mentioned above, the best value tariff for the huge majority of UK households at the moment is the British Gas Websaver 11.

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