UK Consumers Miss Out on £3 Billion Savings by Snubbing Online Tariffs

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UK consumers are missing out on £3.38 billion of savings by snubbing energy suppliers cheap online direct debit tariffs, according to an investigation by energyhelpline.com

Customers can cash in to the tune of up to £300 a year – the cost of a return flight to New York – simply by switching to an online direct debit tariff from a standard one.

UK consumers are missing out on £3.38 billion of savings by snubbing energy suppliers cheaper gas and electricity online tariffs, according to an investigation by energyhelpline.com.

Research by the independent price comparison website shows that about 13.6 million of the UK’s 27 million households are currently paying standard gas and electricity tariffs from UK’s “Big Six” energy suppliers. These tariffs tend to be £200-300 more expensive than suppliers’ online versions.

Customers who take both electricity and gas from the same supplier and pay by quarterly bill have to pay more than those paying by direct debit. Those who do not pay quickly enough to qualify for prompt payment discounts are charged the most of all.

Average quarterly billing costs are £1,172 a year from the Big Six – British Gas, Scottish and Southern Energy, npower, EDF, E.ON and ScottishPower - and average monthly direct debit standard prices are £1,093 a year. The cheapest online tariff – first:utility’s web iSave v3/Smart Dual Fuel v4 - is currently £883 a year.

Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: “There is a £3 billion energy bill savings bonanza up for grabs but UK consumers are missing out.

“Customers can cash in to the tune of up to £300 a year – the cost of a return flight to New York – simply by switching to an online direct debit tariff from a standard one.”

Energyhelpline.com pointed out that an “online price war” had broken out in recent weeks that had been missed by many consumers.

Todd said: “Although the Big Six recently reduced their standard bills by 4-8 per cent, the only real value for customers is to go online, especially there has been an online price war which has been largely going on beneath the radar.

“Consumers may feel aggrieved at energy costs but they can easily make big savings by spending just a few moments browsing and choosing from the various online deals.”

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