40% of people ‘can’t help elderly switch energy suppliers’

More than 40% of people are unsure on how to help an elderly person switch energy suppliers. That’s according to a new report by market research group Ipsos MORI. It adds almost two thirds […]

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More than 40% of people are unsure on how to help an elderly person switch energy suppliers.

That’s according to a new report by market research group Ipsos MORI.

It adds almost two thirds (65%) of these people believe their elderly friend or relative cannot switch because they don’t know how to use the internet.

Almost half (45%) don’t think they could save anything by switching and of the other half, the vast majority (75%) believe it could only save £100 or less.

The report also states “online searches are the main way Brits find the best energy deal” – more than three quarters (78%) said they would use an online site to switch, yet only 13% have actually taken the time to help an elderly person to find a better deal.

This is in contrast with other chores undertaken by friends, neighbours and family, it claims.

Image: Thinkstock
Image: Thinkstock

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “What’s most concerning is a fifth of the people we spoke to said they were aware an elderly person they look after has fallen behind or been unable to pay their energy bills.”

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd added: “By not switching, hardworking bill payers are missing out on hundreds of pounds – savings which could especially help older people heat their homes for less this winter.”

The report comes as Energy Saving Week, a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to, kicks off today.

Energy UK said more than 310,000 customers switched energy suppliers last month. According to the government figures, UK householders are missing out on £2.2 billion worth of savings by not switching suppliers.

Ofgem recently announced it has ordered Utilita Energy to pay £560,000 for blocking customers from switching to other suppliers.