Lack of switching options ‘costing NI customers £82m’

A lack of switching options is costing energy customers across Northern Ireland around £82 million per year. That’s according to Echo Managed Services, which suggests only 28% of consumers have […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A lack of switching options is costing energy customers across Northern Ireland around £82 million per year.

That’s according to Echo Managed Services, which suggests only 28% of consumers have switched suppliers in the last year, compared to around 38% across the rest of the UK.

It estimates this could be costing up to £145 per household annually.

The report shows although almost two-thirds of consumers said they would switch if prices increased significantly, they have limited choice – there are currently only five domestic electricity and two gas suppliers in the market, compared to around 40 in England, Wales and Scotland.

Jim White, Northern Ireland Head of Operations at Echo Managed Services, said: “In part, there’s a problem of competition – or lack thereof.

“Whilst fewer options can lead to an easier supplier decision, in reality it is costing people dear and when energy suppliers raise their prices, consumers may feel they have little choice but to comply.”

The UK Government’s proposed price cap on energy bills aims to help consumers get off expensive energy deals and save money.