Big Six energy customers ‘overspending by £4bn a year’

Energy consumers supplied by the Big Six are paying £4 billion more for their gas and electricity. That’s according to new research which states the figure is equivalent to an […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Energy consumers supplied by the Big Six are paying £4 billion more for their gas and electricity.

That’s according to new research which states the figure is equivalent to an average of £234 per household – an increase from a total of £3.4 billion last year, meaning householders have blown away £600 million of savings.

That brings the updated average overspend per British household to £293.

Earlier this year the competition watchdog revealed householders have been paying around £1.7 billion a year more than they would in a competitive market while businesses are overspending by £280 million.

First Utility claims the latest increase is due to more than 85% of energy customers still being supplied by the six large suppliers – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE.

It adds 70% of them are on the standard variable tariff, i.e. “the most expensive tariff”.

FINAL Potential savings for british Regions - First Utillity (003)

The independent energy supplier found the biggest overall savings available by region are more than £560 million in the South & South East.

Though London, Birmingham, Leeds and Bradford “still lead the way” in terms of overall available savings by city, the research states extra savings this year are bigger for households in Bristol, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff, Leicester and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Ed Kamm, UK MD, First Utility said: “The Big Six have been exploiting customers’ loyalty for far too long and the scale of the problem has been vastly undervalued. Customers of the Big Six who are on their standard variable tariff are mostly unaware of the savings because their suppliers are clever about how they avoid telling them.

“We’re trying to highlight those savings today because the increase in overspend since last year is shocking. The best thing that you can do is to shop around, get a quote and see how much you can save. It only takes 10 minutes and customers deserve to have the money back in their pockets.”

Last week Ofgem said householders could save up to £325 by switching from their supplier’s expensive standard tariff to the cheapest fixed-term deal.