Confused.com reveals Energy Suppliers Are Penalising Energy Efficient Customers

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Obama and Brown take note. New research from energy comparison experts, Confused.com, has revealed that energy suppliers are failing to reward energy efficient customers. The price comparison site's research has revealed that half of the best-buy tariffs available are 'standing charge' tariffs(1), meaning a fee is applied even before any gas or electricity is used. In addition, some energy suppliers also calculate bills according to a tiered unit system, with the first units in each quarter being the most expensive, meaning energy efficient customers do not particularly benefit.

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I believe energy providers have got it all wrong as far as tariffs are concerned. In terms of standing charges, customers are charged the same for sitting in a house with just candlelight for heat and light, as customers who have the radiators on full blast, the fires roaring and all their lights on.

New research from energy comparison experts, Confused.com, has revealed that energy suppliers are failing to reward energy efficient customers. The price comparison site's research has revealed that half of the best-buy tariffs available are 'standing charge' tariffs(1), meaning a fee is applied even before any gas or electricity is used. In addition, some energy suppliers also calculate bills according to a tiered unit system, with the first units in each quarter being the most expensive, meaning energy efficient customers do not particularly benefit.

Gareth Kloet, head of energy prices at Confused.com, explains:

"Obama and Brown are amongst the world leaders in Copenhagen this Friday as the Climate change conference reaches its climax but reducing carbon footprints is as much about the small changes that energy suppliers and consumers can make as it is about protests and negotiations with world leaders."

"I believe energy providers have got it all wrong as far as tariffs are concerned. In terms of standing charges, customers are charged the same for sitting in a house with just candlelight for heat and light, as customers who have the radiators on full blast, the fires roaring and all their lights on."

"The remaining four(2) tariffs have no standing charge but the unit prices for both gas and electricity are tiered, with the first units each quarter being the most expensive, what sense does that make? In an era where green issues are very much on the agenda and climate change being discussed at the highest levels, this is not a responsible way to do business. Energy companies should consider reversing this tariff structure with the penalty being on the higher end consumption and reduced rates for more efficient usage."

1 EDF - Online S@ver 3, nPower - Go Fix, First Utility - iSave, OVO - New Energy
2 E.on - Fix Online 4, SSE - Go Direct 2, Scottish Power - Online Energy Saver 7, British Gas - Websaver 4

For further information please contact:
Press office, Confused.com: 02920 434 398
Gareth Kloet, Head of utilities, Confused.com: 02920 434 268 / 07966 722 063

Notes to editors:

About Confused.com:
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include car insurance, 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 all of the 'big six' energy providers on its panel, customers can save £207* on their annual energy bill by switching with Confused.com

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.

*50% of customers who switched gas and electricity (dual fuel) with Confused.com between January and June 2009 saved on average £207.58

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Victoria Leyton
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