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

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

uSwitch customers have the option to create an account which will prompt them when their current broadband, credit card, energy, insurance and mobile deals are coming to an end. For energy customers, the account can also automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2016, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £320m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

The uSwitch mobile app allows customers to compare energy and broadband deals. Energy customers can compare deals in seconds by scanning the QR code on their energy bill. The app won 'Most Innovative Use of Mobile' and the 'Chairman's Award' at The DRUM Marketing on Mobile Awards 2017. Consumers voted it Most Popular Website (Comparison category) in the Website of the Year Awards 2016.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG Plc (LSE:ZPG), owner of some of the UK’s most trusted home-related digital platforms including Hometrack, Money.co.uk, PrimeLocation, Property Software Group and Zoopla.