Energy switching trials pave the way for half billion pounds of savings on customer bills
Customers on the most expensive deals could save over £250 per year
A series of energy switching trials have shown that the UK’s most disengaged customers have the potential to save half a billion pounds a year on their energy bills by escaping rip off deals.
Price comparison service energyhelpline – who has delivered 3 switching trials in partnership with Ofgem – has helped consumers who had been on the most expensive deals for the last 3 years, save over £250 per year on average. energyhelpline is now calling on the regulator to undertake further trials throughout 2020 with the intention of rolling this programme out for up to 8 million consumers, as recommended by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in 2016.
The results show that over the course of all 3 trials:
· Customers saved over £13 million on their energy bills – those that switched with energyhelpline saved an average of £263.
· Over a quarter (27%) of those who participated switched supplier, meaning savings for almost 50,000 customers. If this was scaled up to all 8 million customers, over 2 million customers would save.
· 42% of customers that could be described as ‘vulnerable’ – over the age of 75, on the priority services register (PSR), retired or unemployed – switched and saved with energyhelpline.
· Based on the findings from the first trial, if these results were scaled up and applied to 8 million customers, customers would save half a billion pounds on their bills. As part of this, vulnerable customers would save over £260 million.
Research from energyhelpline has also shown these trials weren’t just a one-off success, but have led to long term consumer engagement, with customers looking to shop around for a better deal in the future. At least 38% of consumers in the first trial who had switched decided to switch again one year later. 79% of these consumers switched to a supplier outside the Big Six, and 70% of these customers saved between £200 and £500.
Findings, research and recommendations for Ofgem can be found in energyhelpline’s report which has been published today: A roadmap to engage with 8 million disengaged energy consumers: Key findings and learnings from our work supporting the delivery on Ofgem’s consumer engagement trials, which is available online at roadmaptoengage.energyhelpline.com
Jay Manek, Head of Energy at energyhelpline, said: “These results are outstanding – we are thrilled to have finally freed so many vulnerable consumers of an unnecessary financial burden they had been carrying for too long.
The results prove that, of the 8 million disengaged customers, two million will switch and save half a billion pounds on their energy bills, if they are communicated with directly. By working in partnership with the regulator, Ofgem, we have achieved astronomically high switching rates. Interestingly, most of these switchers came via our call centre.”
“This is not just a one-off success. The results show that this is leading to sustained and long-term engagement, reducing consumer bills for years.
“But we don’t want to stop there. Ofgem should now take this project forward to the next stage and it is crucial that we continue further trials in the coming months to keep up the momentum and see how we can increase switching rates even further.
“The Government and Ofgem have been searching for policy solutions that help consumers to become more engaged in the energy market. After consulting with Ofgem and consumer champions, we have designed an exceptional solution to achieve that, and believe it’s a no-brainer for the regulator to undertake further trials ahead of rolling this out for 8 million consumers.
The full report can be found here.