Confused.com Reveals Energy Providers Charge More to Loyal Customers

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Host region customers are paying more than their counterparts in other areas of the UK, according to Confused.com research.

'Out of area' pricing is still more competitive than 'in area' prices and therefore the age old rule about shopping around and switching supplier in order to save money is as strong today as it was over a decade ago.

New research from Confused.com has revealed that energy providers are charging customers more in their host regions than they do everywhere else in the UK.

The worst offender is nPower, which charges those in Yorkshire 12% more than its average price across other regions, amounting to an extra £48 per year. EDF is the only angel amongst providers - it does not apply any extra charges to its London region; in fact the average price comes out £2 cheaper per year than its competitors.

Gareth Kloet, head of energy at Confused.com, said: "Our research suggests that despite fierce competition in the energy market, the suppliers continue to be more willing to compete on energy prices in an attempt to gain new business than they are in retaining and rewarding loyalty in their old monopoly trading regions."

"'Out of area' pricing is still more competitive than 'in area' prices and therefore the age old rule about shopping around and switching supplier in order to save money is as strong today as it was over a decade ago."

Since the domestic electricity market was opened to competition in 1998, energy companies have no longer held a monopoly over the supply for any single region - thus enabling consumers to shop around for the best deal regardless of their postcode. However, the research from Confused.com reveals how energy companies seem more interested in playing away than helping those at home.

Confused.com is urging customers to take the initiative and make the most of the open marketplace and search for the most competitive electricity and gas prices rather than accepting what they're given if they want to avoid being exploited for their loyalty.

It is estimated 33%* of domestic electricity customers remain faithful to their home supplier. By shopping around, however, customers may be surprised by the amount they could save either by changing suppliers, opting for a more efficient payment method or switching to an online tariff via a consumer focus accredited energy price comparison website like Confused.com.

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:
*The proportion of customers still with home supplier from the Department of Energy & Climate Changes Dec 2009 Quarterly Energy Prices report.

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 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 £250* 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.

*Confused.com customers saved an average of £252.37 on their annual energy bill in 2008.

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