The 7 energy “MYTH-UNDERSTANDINGS” stopping households getting a good deal: Gas

21 January 2019, 09:31

The 7 energy “MYTH-UNDERSTANDINGS” stopping households getting a good deal

weflip debunks common energy myths preventing some households from switching provider

  •  81% of Brits want to cut their energy bills in 2019, but only 20% switch each year;
  • 10% don’t think you can switch energy provider if you live in a rental property;
  • 11% of people mistakenly think a smart meter will automatically reduce their energy bill.
  • weflip warning consumers not to add to the myth-list by assuming the new energy price cap represents a good deal.

New research1 has revealed a series of myths and misunderstandings are potentially preventing far more people from switching energy provider and securing a better deal.

weflip, the auto-switching service, has highlighted seven common so-called “myth-understandings” around energy and energy switching and is urging households not to add to the “myth-list” by assuming the Government’s new energy price cap represents a good deal.

According to weflip’s research, most people (81%) say they want to cut their energy bills in 2019, yet only around a fifth of households switch provider each year.  Regularly shopping around for a cheaper deal can save hundreds of pounds, and the auto-switching innovator weflip is out to de-bunk the myth-understandings preventing households from changing energy supplier.

Myth: Loyalty pays

Energy companies typically use their cheapest rates to attract new customers while millions of loyal customers are stuck on costly standard variable tariffs (SVTs).  From 1 January 2019, the maximum rate energy providers will be able to charge SVT customers will be capped.  However, to get the BEST deals customers still need to regularly shop around.  Ofgem’s own figures show that you can save as much as £285 by switching, therefore the cap – with its projected average saving of £76 – could be costing these households over £200 a year.  

Myth: Switching is too difficult and time consuming

Some people presume changing energy supplier is complicated.  But this is far from the truth.   In fact, energy is now the easiest financial product to switch, with 83% of customers who switched in the last 12 months saying they found the process easy. The switching process usually takes around three weeks and most of the work is done by the suppliers.

Myth: My energy supply will be interrupted during a switch between suppliers

A handful (5%) of those surveyed mistakenly believe that their energy supply could be cut off during a switch of suppliers.  Household gas and electricity comes straight from the national grid regardless so, switching is, effectively, just a matter of processing the paperwork.

Myth: A smart meter will automatically save me money on my energy bills    

11% of people surveyed thought having a smart meter installed would automatically reduce their energy bills.  While smart meters help customers track their energy usage and understand where they might be able to make cut backs – they only save customers money if the household reduces its energy consumption.  Having a smart meter doesn’t affect a customer’s right to switch energy provider.

Myth: I can’t switch provider because I have a prepayment meter

9% of those taking part in the survey wrongly think you can’t switch energy provider if you are on a pre-payment meter.  A prepayment meter lets customers pay upfront for their energy.  Typically, prepayment tariffs are more expensive than other tariffs.  The Competition and Markets Authority has introduced a safeguard tariff to help protect prepay consumers which limits the amount a supplier can charge per kWH.  Prepayment meter users can switch energy supplier, but to access the most competitive energy tariffs, they will need to change the prepayment meter to a credit meter.

Myth: I can’t switch provider because I’m on an Economy 7 (or Economy 10) meter

A small proportion (2%) of those surveyed mistakenly believe they were unable to switch because they were on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff, while 17% thought these tariffs provided cheaper gas and electricity prices.   Economy 7 and Economy 10 meters track day-time and night-time usage separately.  The night-time rate is usually cheaper than during the day, but the day rate is often more expensive than on a normal tariff.  So, unless you use a significant proportion of your energy during the cheaper off-peak times, it can work out more expensive overall.  It is possible to switch to or from Economy 7 or Economy 10, but this may require a new meter to be installed.   Customers can switch between different provider’s Economy tariffs.

Myth: I live in rented accommodation so can’t switch energy suppliers

One in ten people wrongly think you can’t switch energy provider if you live in a rental property.  Tenants who pay their energy supplier directly, can usually switch suppliers.  The exception is if the landlord pays the supplier for the energy used by the tenant.  The tenancy agreement will show who pays the bills and may show whether the landlord has a preferred supplier.  The tenant may have to return the account to the original supplier at the end of their tenancy.

Sally Jaques, Head of Energy at weflip, commented, “According to the energy regulator, Ofgem, 11 million households are paying through the nose for their energy bills because they are unnecessarily languishing on their providers’ most expensive tariffs.  From the start of the year, the Government introduced the energy price cap which will save the typical household £76 a year.  However, we’re concerned that this could just become the latest in a series of energy myth-understandings, stopping people from saving even more money.

“If you’ve never switched energy supplier or haven’t done so in the last couple of years, you’ll almost certainly save money by doing so.  Switching is much more straightforward than many people think.  To compare energy deals, all you need is your postcode, details of your current provider and the tariff you are on – which can be found on an old bill.    

“Using an automated switching service such as weflip, will automatically keep you on a great energy deal - forever.   We appreciate that most people don’t want to be shopping around and switching energy provider every year, so our ‘sign up once, save forever’ service automatically searches the market and moves customers when there’s a better deal - putting an end to overly-expensive energy bills for good.”

 For more information on how to save on your energy bills for life, visit: https://www.weflip.com/.

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For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson and Louisa Marsden on media@weflip.com

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Notes to editors:

1On 14 December 2018, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,001 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About weflip

weflip is a smart savings service that helps people save money by automatically switching them to better energy deals.

weflip is a completely free, automatic savings service that guarantees cheap energy forever.  After customers sign up, weflip simply flips households onto cheap energy tariffs automatically, doing all the hard work on their behalf, so they never have to worry about overspending on energy ever again.

weflip is part of GoCompare Group plc, which operates GoCompare, one of the UK’s largest and most trusted comparison sites and has been saving customers money on a range of financial and non-financial products since 2006.

weflip’s energy service is powered by Energylinx, which is also a GoCompare Group plc company, and one of the UK’s most established and respected energy comparison services.

weflip takes customer privacy seriously and does not sell customer data.

For more information visit www.weflip.com and www.gocomparegroup.com.

 

Contact Information

Louisa Marsden

Senior PR Executive

GoCompare

01633 655 132

louisa.marsden@gocompare.com