Press release:

Still time to avoid paying £600 extra in household bills before the clocks go back

  • Households could see bills rise by up to £49 per month – £593 a year – from November as popular energy and broadband deals come to an end[1]
  • 49 energy deals from 21 suppliers are ending this month[2] adding up to £395 (49%) to bills if customers take no action and roll over to an expensive standard variable tariff[2]
  • Popular broadband deals coming to an end in October will cost up to £198 more per year – the hikes will push bills up by an average of 52%[3]
  • With the clocks going back this month, people have a little extra time to switch both utilities and save up to £593 a year[1], just in time before the heating gets turned up
  • uSwitch.com urges consumers to switch their broadband and energy tariffs to prevent rolling onto expensive out of contract prices.

Households across the country could be drastically out of pocket from the end of this month, according to uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service[1]. Customers on fixed energy tariffs and fixed broadband deals that are coming to an end could find themselves paying an extra £593 per year for exactly the same products – that works out as an extra £49 every month[1] – if they don’t switch to cheaper tariffs by the end of October.

21 energy suppliers have 49 fixed deals expiring by the end of the month, affecting over 100,000 customers, after which their customers will be rolled onto expensive standard variable tariffs[2]. The average price increase for energy customers whose deals end in October is a whopping £245 per year[4], but some customers risk price hikes of up to £395 – a staggering 49% rise[2].

If they take no action, the customers facing the biggest hikes are those with Economy Energy (£395), Extra Energy (£392) and First Utility (£391)[1]. Ofgem’s rules allow customers to switch suppliers without paying exit fees from 42-49 days before their plan’s end date, so consumers are free to shop around without being penalised.

Five popular broadband deals are also ending this month. Once these 12 month contracts expire at the end of October, broadband customers on these deals could see average bill hikes of nearly £143 per year – £12 a month if they don’t switch to a cheaper deal[3]. Those facing the largest out of contract increase will see the amount they pay soar by £198 per year – £16.50 a month – if they don’t choose a new deal. That’s an astonishing rise of 62%[3].

Comparing and switching energy tariffs can be done in around ten minutes. Consumers don’t even have to read their energy bill as the uSwitch Switching Made Simple app can do that for them. Switching broadband is just as quick and can also be done online or through the uSwitch app.

Broadband customers who are out of contract only need to give their provider 30 days’ notice to switch to a new deal, and there are plenty of attractive offers – whether your decision is based on price, speed or the value of a bundle. Tariffs are often bundled with a landline service and some with TV packages, meaning consumers can pick the deal that best suits their needs. Some deals even come with extras such as shopping vouchers which can make them excellent value. Consumers coming to the end of their deal could even find they can upgrade to a fibre for only a few extra pounds per month.

Shona Eyre, consumer expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Loyalty rarely pays when it comes to household bills. It’s very easy to sleepwalk into poor value out of contract prices for exactly the same products that last month cost just a fraction of the price.

“Fortunately, there is plenty of choice when it comes to finding the right energy and broadband deal. Consumers can save money and choose the service they want without breaking the bank. All they need to spend is a few minutes shopping around.

“We’re all getting an extra hour when the clocks go back at the end of the month. Savvy switchers can use the time to save themselves from a £50 per month price rise and still have plenty of time left over for a lie in.”

— ends —

Notes to editors

  1. Total maximum broadband and energy rises, £198 + £395 = £593 per year. £593 / 12 = £49 per month. Energy: Increase of £32.88/month or £394.55/year (48.7%) from Economy Energy’s fixed price “Direct Saver 2017” tariff (average cost £810.22 per year) to it’s standard variable “Evergreen Direct Saver” tariff (average annual cost £1204.77). Broadband: Increase of £16.50/month or £198/year (43.0%) from BT’s Unlimited Broadband plan (£26.49/month or £317.88/year) to its out of contract price (£42.99/month or £515.88/year).
  2. See Table 1 above. Source: uSwitch.com, more information available upon request
  3. See Table 2 above. Source: uSwitch.com, more information available upon request

About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.

The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG, which operates some of the UK’s most trusted digital brands that help empower smarter property and household decisions including Zoopla, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.

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