Consumers still finding it difficult to find cheap energy deals

People in the UK are finding it difficult to find cheap energy deals and are ending up stuck with their current tariff, which could be resulting in th…

People in the UK are finding it difficult to find cheap energy deals and are ending up stuck with their current tariff, which could be resulting in them paying out more money than they should.

There have been new proposals implemented by the energy regulator Ofgem known as the tariff comparison rare (TCR), however, a Which? survey found more than seven in ten people failed to find the cheapest deal when using it.

To improve it, the watchdog is calling for the energy costs to be displayed in the same way as petrol tariffs are – using single unit prices that are not complicated.

Ofgem devised the TCR in order to allow consumers to compare the price of many different tariffs across the entire market. It is designed to give them a clear indication of the cheapest deal based on their usage of both gas and electricity.

Many energy providers offer discounts for customers who roll up their electricity and gas into one package and this is one way people can save money.

The Which? survey questioned 2,008 adults and found that two-thirds (65 per cent) preferred the petrol style single unit pricing system due to its simplicity. Only ten per cent of respondents said they preferred the TCR method.

Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: "Energy prices are the biggest worry for consumers, but Ofgem’s current proposals will fail to help people find the best deal and could leave millions paying over the odds for their energy.

"You shouldn’t need a maths degree to work out the cheapest energy deal."

Around eight in ten people said they are concerned about rising energy prices. Nearly four in ten people say they are likely to reduce their spending on energy in the coming months as a result of large bills.

Energy bills are one of the biggest outgoings for households, therefore it's important for people to make sure they are on the best deal possible so as not to needlessly waste money.

By James Francis

Find out more about energy tariffs on the Cleardebt blog.

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