UK Wastes £6.8bn Per Year Through Energy Inertia, Says Confused.com

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Nearly 14 million households are wasting an average of £490 each per year - or a total of £6.8 billion - by not switching energy provider, according to research from Confused.com - the UK's leading price comparison site.*

With energy prices rising across the board, and consumers continuing to feel the squeeze, it is important for them to find the best tariff for their personal circumstances.

Fixed rate tariffs can initially be more expensive than the best uncapped tariffs but offer customers the certainty of knowing their energy costs will not rise during the fixed rate period. However customers should explore all options to ensure they are on a tariff that is not only competitive but suits their individual circumstances. Continuing on an existing tariff could cost consumers dearly if they simply stick with the standard tariff that one in two households are currently on.

Customers who switched suppliers for gas and electricity through Confused.com, since the start of the year, saved on average £296.23** which shows that shopping around in order to get the best deal to minimise the impact of price rises is a great idea.

However, with approximately 14,000 tariffs on the market, it is important for consumers to regularly check that they have chosen the appropriate tariff for their levels of energy consumption. Something as simple as hanging washing on the line throughout the summer, rather than using a tumble-dryer, can mean that a different tariff could be more appropriate.

Gareth Kloet, head of utilities at Confused.com, says:
"In some areas of the UK, up to 80% of the population is still using the host supplier and are therefore spending more money than they need to.*** Many people shy away from switching, as they think that it will be a difficult process, but it is actually very simple. In fact, if you have not secured a competitive fixed rate, you should look to switch every six months - just switching to an online tariff and paying by direct debit could save £490 per year.

"Targeting the UK's inertia when it comes to switching gas and electricity providers could help consumers to claw back some of the £6.8 billion which is lost every year - a very appealing prospect, considering that we are increasingly feeling the financial squeeze."

Notes to editors

  • Savings based on results taken on 18/08/2008 for an annual consumption of 3,300 kWh for electricity and 20,500 kWh gas (medium consumption) comparing all regions' 'standard' bill (where they are with British Gas for their gas and the host supplier for their electricity) and the cheapest tariff available. Number of households which have not switched is provided by Ofgem in the Domestic Retail Market Report 2007.

** Between 1st January 2008 and 31st July 2008, at least 20% of dual fuel customers saved £296.23 by switching their energy supply.
*** The host supplier is a term for the standard energy supplier for the area

For further information please contact:
Caroline Spindlove/Anna Bowes: Confused.com - 02920 434393/398
Gug Kyriacou / Joanna Harte: Polhill Communications - 020 7655 0550

About Confused.com:
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com has 73 motor insurance partners, and customers can save up to on average £208. It also has a panel of 45 for home insurance, and customers who use Confused.com for home insurance can expect to save up to £193.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com's service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.

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Caroline Spindlove
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