Last year was a record-breaking year for energy switching, as 9,262,699 households switched gas and electricity supplier to help cut their energy bills. But while a whopping 1,501,073 more people made the switch in 2017 than did in 2016, there are still a lot of disengaged energy consumers out there.
Why do people switch energy supplier?
Saving money is the main reason most of us make the switch. An Ofgem consumer survey found that 91% of switchers cited saving money as their number one motive for switching – using UKPower’s switching service could save you as much as £491* on your annual energy bills. Simply enter your postcode at the top of the page to run an instant energy comparison and see how much you could save.
Other reasons for switching included: getting better customer service, wanting to tie in to a fixed term deal, and even something as simple as wanting a dual fuel package.
So, although money is the main priority, this shows you should also consider other factors when switching supplier.
What type of energy switcher are you?
You may not realise it, but as an energy switcher, you’ll fall into one of six categories:
1. The Happy Shopper – Saving money is your top priority, and you enjoy shopping around and comparing quotes to find the best deal. Positive about switching, you are confident, trusting and engaged with the energy market and price comparison websites.
2. The Savvy Searcher – You’re just as confident, engaged, and positive as a Happy Shopper, but a little sceptical about price comparison websites. This means you use more than one site to compare quotes, to make absolutely sure you’re getting the best deal. To find out more about UKPower, including how we make money and can offer our switching service for free, check out our FAQs page.
3. The Market Sceptic – Although you might be relatively engaged when it comes to switching insurance or broadband provider, a lack of trust in the UK’s energy companies means you’re not as engaged when it comes to switching gas and electricity.
4. The Hassle Haters – Although you’re confident in your ability to engage in the market and, for the most part, trust the energy companies, you feel you’re on a good deal, and might only be tempted away by better customer service, or easier billing and payment methods. You’re also put off switching by the perceived time, hassle and risks involved – don’t let this perception put you off, switching is quick and hassle-free.
5. The Anxious Avoider – A low-level of engagement across all markets, but specifically in the energy market, means you’re unlikely to shop around or research ways in which you can save money on your annual bills.
6. The Contented Confomer – You’re happy to leave things as they are, as the idea of shopping around fills you with dread. You worry about the perceived risks involved in switching, particularly to any suppliers outside the Big Six, and think you’ll be overwhelmed with choice, not even saving money or better customer service can convince you too shop around.
If you fall into the top three categories, there’s a good chance you’ll be paying a lot less on everything from insurance to energy, than those in the bottom three segments.
If you do think you could well be a Hassle Hater, and Anxious Avoider, or a Contented Confomer, don’t let your misconceptions put off comparing quotes and switching to a better deal – watch this short video to see just how easy and hassle-free switching really is…
Switching energy provider is a quick and easy way to save money on your monthly gas and electricity bills. Make the switch with UK Power now
The Ofgem study also looked people might be averse to switching, and found over a quarter (28%) of those less-engaged consumers saw a potential increase in costs as the main barrier to switching. But there is one really simple way around that – switching to a fixed rate deal means you lock in the rate you pay for each unit of energy you use. Although your bills will still go up and down, depending on how much energy you use each month, this is the most effective way to keep on top of costs and beat the price hikes.
A further 10% of respondents were worried their supply might be cut off during the switch, but the gas and electricity still enters your property through the existing pipes and cables, so there is little, if any, chance that your supply will stop at any point.
And 4% were worried their supplier might go bust – although this is unlikely, it’s a legitimate concern, particularly given the number of smaller, independent suppliers entering the market. But even if your supplier goes bust, Ofgem has a contingency in place that means you’ll automatically be moved to a new supplier, with no disruption to your service, and no need for you to do anything.
For more information, check out What to do if your energy supplier goes bust.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.