The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) this week launched its latest campaign to raise awareness of the £2.7 billion in savings available to the 13.5 million households who have never switched energy supplier.
The campaign is called Power to Switch, and outlines to consumers that the ability to save money by moving off of expensive tariffs is in their hands.
The campaign further highlights that now is the time to switch as the government have enacted several changes to make the market easier to understand and more accessible.
Making it easier to switch
Similar to Ofgem’s campaign in 2014, DECC makes note of recent changes within the energy industry that make it easier and less confusing to switch.
These changes include recently cutting switching times down from up to six weeks to just 17 days (a two week cooling of period plus three days for the actual switch).
There was also much work completed in 2014 around enforcing suppliers to make their bills clearer and remove expensive “dead” tariffs and move long-time customers onto newer standard rate tariffs.
But, as Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey explains, the government and regulatory bodies can only do so much, and it is now up to the consumers to take advantage of some of the cheapest tariffs on the market in years:
“When it comes to switching, the power is in people’s hands to get a better deal and save.
“We’ve reformed the market so that there are more suppliers, more competition, and a much faster and simpler process to switch. That means millions of people can switch supplier and save hundreds of pounds today.”
Now’s the time to ‘be an energy shopper’
The DECC campaign echoes the sentiment of energy regulator Ofgem’s call for consumers to be “energy shoppers”.
The Ofgem campaign aimed to educate consumers with erroneous understanding of the switching process: many were found to believe switching would be too much hassle or that savings would not apply to them.
However, the recent CMA update into the energy industry found that 95% of households are paying up to £234 more than they need to by being loyal to a big six supplier.
Meanwhile, Ofgem recently announced a strengthened Confidence Code, which is the voluntary code of conduct by which price comparison sites must adhere to.
These changes were welcomed by uSwitch: “We have worked alongside Ofgem to help shape the new Confidence Code and believe it further strengthens consumer trust in price comparison websites as the best way to save money on energy bills. The new Code is fully in line with our ongoing plans to develop our service so consumers can continue to compare tariffs in a simple, transparent, fair, independent and unbiased way.”