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Switching Supplier 'Can Save Hundreds'

Aug 18, 2007
The switching of energy suppliers could well save consumers hundreds of pounds, it has been claimed.

Research carried out by uSwitch has indicated that just over half (51 per cent) of British households, about 13 million, have claimed to have changed utility providers at least once. Reported to have saved 1.7 billion pounds, these consumers could well find their attempts at making secured loans repayments eased.

However, figures from the comparison service indicated that there are some nine million 'switching virgins' in the country who by changing suppliers can save an average of 206 pounds.

Ann Robinson, consumer policy director for uSwitch.com, said: "Switching works and it works well - consumers can save themselves money and keep the energy companies on their toes. If anybody questions the value of competition in the energy market, I would point out how hard the suppliers are beginning to compete for customers now - that's with only half of consumers switching - imagine what would happen if the rest joined in."

Ms Robinson added that although Britons are "warming up" to the concept of switching energy suppliers, as a whole the country is "still not using all [its] powers as consumers to make the energy market work for us". She claimed that even those who have changed providers "can't afford to let the grass grow under" their feet as energy prices and customer service levels are forever subject to change. However, by scouring the utility market in a similar way that those choosing a holiday or mobile phone contract would the director suggested that consumers can "benefit from competition".

According to the price comparison website, consumers in Newcastle could earn an extra 236 pounds by switching, the largest potential saving available in the country. Meanwhile, those homeowners living in Leeds and Liverpool are reported to be able to save a maximum of 223 pounds if they make the decision to change. Currently, residents in Birmingham have made the largest average saving so far - at 143 pounds 28p per household, followed by Edinburgh with 139 pounds and 44p Aberdeen consumers have been reported to have switched the most, with some 58 per cent of residents in the Scottish city changing provider in recent months.

Overall, expensive energy bills were reported to be the main reason for consumers looking to switch accounting for 58 per cent as this could consequently impact upon debt problems. Meanwhile, poor customer service was said to cause nine per cent of Britons to switch. The price comparison website also stated that by following even one of the "golden rules of energy switching" - choosing an online tariff, paying by direct debit and moving to dual fuel - Britons will be able to help reduce their energy bills and start saving.

Earlier this week, energy regulator Ofgem reported that those Britons who elect to pay for their energy by prepayment meter are missing out an average of 100 pounds if they choose not to change provider. Founder of SimplySwitch Karen Darby claimed that such meters are often found among the financially vulnerable households who by "paying over the odds for their gas and electricity" could be developing problems meeting utility bill and secured loan repayments.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for the the Loan Arrangers where you can apply online for low rate loans, you can also compare loans online, bad credit loans applications welcome.
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