More people are switching their energy deal than ever before, according to the latest State of the Energy Market Report from Ofgem.
Ofgem’s study found that 20% of British households switched supplier between July 2018 and June 2019, up from 19% last year. This is a record high for overall energy switching rates.
Almost half (49%) of energy customers said they have never switched their supplier, or have only switched once. This shows an improvement since last year’s survey, when 61% of people said they had switched one time or less.
British households spent around £30 billion on gas and electricity in 2018. Last year the average energy bill reached £1,184 for customers on dual fuel plans with large suppliers, an increase in real terms of 4% since the previous year.
More than half (53%) of British households are still on their supplier’s default tariff (not including prepayment meter tariffs). These are typically the most expensive type of energy tariff. Ofgem found that these customers could save £260 by switching from one of these plans to one of the cheapest tariffs on the market.
Of those who did switch in 2018, 54% of them did so through a price comparison website like uSwitch, with a large majority (88%) saying they found the switching process easy.
Ofgem’s report found that those on the lowest incomes spend almost twice as much of their income on energy than the average consumer.
While the average household spends 4% of their income on their energy bills, lower earners spend 8-10% of their income on paying for gas and electricity.
While most people in the survey did not report being worried about meeting the cost of their energy, about 19% say they occasionally or constantly struggle to pay their bills.
Ofgem also reported that fuel poverty may have contributed to 5,500 excess winter deaths in the winter of 2017-2018.