Energy is expensive, and these days, getting a good energy deal could be the difference between going on a nice summer holiday to the seaside and spending another July in London. But choosing isn’t easy – today we face an increasingly varied energy market with more providers and energy tariff options. How are we to decide which provider is the best for us and when it’s time to switch?
43.7% of Brits don’t know or understand their energy tariff options – totalling to over 18.16 million – making this a tricky decision. That’s according to our study of 2,000 Brits commissioned in July 2017 and conducted by research provider Mortar London. Alarmingly, the majority of us (65.1%) feel as though they have no power over their energy costs, with more than half (52.0%) not having switched in the last three years. Over 1 in 5 (22.6%) last switched over 10 years ago!
Who has the power?
Despite having a variety of providers available to us, 65.1% of Brits feel as though they have no power over energy costs, totalling to a whopping 27.05 million. 25.5% feel as though they have some control and 9.4% can confidently say they do feel like they have control.
How well do we know our options?
While over half of us (56.2%) know our energy tariff options, an alarming 1 in 4 (25.2%) don’t. 18.6% of us simply don’t understand our options, which makes finding the best deal a challenge.
When it comes to gender, nearly 1 in 4 women (23.8%) don’t understand their options, compared to 13.3% of men – that’s almost double the proportion of men! It’s nearly a level playing field for those who simply do not know their options, with 25.7% of women saying they don’t, compared to 24.7% of men.
Not surprisingly, with age comes wisdom. Baby Boomers are the most in the know when it comes to their options, with 64.0% saying that they know them, compared to 52.2% of Gen Xers and 47.7% of Millennials.
Out of U.K.’s regions (excluding Northern Ireland due to too small sample size), those residing in Yorkshire & The Humber know their options best, sitting at 62.6%, followed by Scotland (57.9%) and the North East (58.7%).
Those residing in the East of England were the least likely to know their options (24.4%), followed by the East Midlands (23.3%) and Wales (20.9%).
How many of us are switching providers and when?
We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of regularly researching into providers, which may also involve switching every now and again to ensure we’re getting the best deal. Over 1 in 4 Brits (27.2%) have switched providers in the last 12 months.
Haven’t switched? Fear not, as more than half of us (52.0%) haven’t switched their provider in the last three years. In fact, 9.39 million of us (22.6%) last switched our energy providers 10 years ago!
Men are more likely to be keeping a closer eye on their energy provider. 28.0% of men have switched their energy providers in the last 12 months, compared to 26.3% of women. Of those sticking to what they know, 10.5% of men last switched 5-10 years ago, slightly less than women who sit an 13.2%.
Interestingly, Millennials are the most likely to switch providers, with 32.0% having changed in the last 12 months, followed by 27.4% of Baby Boomers and 25.1% of Gen Xers.
Baby Boomers are the most likely to stick with what they know, with over 1 in 4 (26.4%) last switching 10 years ago! They were followed by 23.6% of Gen Xers and 11.9% of Millennials.
Those residing in Scotland are the most likely to remain with their current energy provider, with 30.7% not having changed in over 10 years. This was followed by the East Midlands region (27.1%) and the South East (25.7%).
What’s stopping us?
The main reason why Brits haven’t switched providers is because they feel they can’t find a better deal (34.4%) – that’s a whopping 14.29 million Brits! This was followed by already having changed providers in the last 12 months and simply not being bothered.
Matthew Boyle is a mortgages and home services publisher at Finder. He has a 7-year history of publishing helpful guides to assist consumers in making better decisions. In his spare time, you will find him walking in the Norfolk countryside admiring the local wildlife.
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