Customers play postcode lottery on energy prices

Research released by consumer champions uSwitch claims that some customers may be paying more for their energy than others using the same amount in a different part of the country […]

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By Tom Gibson

Research released by consumer champions uSwitch claims that some customers may be paying more for their energy than others using the same amount in a different part of the country simply because of where they live.

uSwitch said that energy suppliers vary their prices according to where customers live by £76 on average. Even though on the same price plan, consumers can pay up to £180 more than others living elsewhere, despite using the same amount of energy.

The Director of the Big Six suppliers Energy UK said extra costs were needed to reach certain parts of the country. Christine McGourty said: “There are reasons why energy prices vary according to where you live. The costs of actually transporting gas and electricity vary according to distance from the source and different network charges apply in different areas of the country.”

A spokesperson for uSwitch responded: “Different distribution and transportation costs are a factor in regional pricing differences. However, cost reflectivity on standard tariffs has seen these differences shrink substantially while there are still differences of up to £180 on suppliers’ most competitive plans.”

The uSwitch research shows that certain areas were more likely to be charged higher rates: one customer from Brighton on the E.ON Save Online 10 was paying £984 a year, whereas another customer living in London and using the same price plan, was charged £1,164 a year – £180 a year more.