Energy confusion costing consumers

Switching levels in the energy industry are at an all-time low and recent research from uSwitch.com has discovered there are many barriers and myths p…

Switching levels in the energy industry are at an all-time low and recent research from uSwitch.com has discovered there are many barriers and myths preventing consumers from turning their backs on their current supplier.

Possibly the biggest misconception highlighted by the research is that almost half of consumers (46 per cent) are afraid they will have to arrange it alone when they switch their energy. 

Four in ten (38 per cent) believe switching is difficult and eight per cent claim that it is all too complicated. However, in reality 85 per cent of those who have gone through with the switch said they found the process easy.

More than one in ten (15 per cent) consumers believe they may have to pay both suppliers for the energy they have used during the switching process and this puts people off. 

This is not the case and people will only have to pay one supplier for the energy they use. Companies pass over the meter readings on the day of the switch so individuals just pay once. 

Another fear held by seven per cent of consumers is that they will lose their energy supply during the switching process but the supply is continuous regardless of who is billing, as the new supplier will contact the existing one to arrange the transfer of supply. 

Strangely, three per cent of consumers think their garden will be dug up to connect to a new supplier and the same amount believe the pipes and wires into their homes will have to be changed. 

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: "Millions of consumers are missing out on sizeable savings of nearly £300 a year on their energy bill. With skyrocketing prices and the cold weather creeping in, these savings could be a lifeline for those struggling to keep their heads above water this winter."

Switching energy providers can open up large savings and with utility bills being so expensive, it's vital for people to shop around.

By Amy White

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