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As energy goes up, so does your desire to look for a better deal

In our latest monthly poll we decided to attack a very topical question – whether or not you’d consider changing your energy provider for a better deal.

In November, five of the ‘big six’ UK energy providers announced that they would be raising their prices, as we head into the most expensive time of the year for consumers – winter. E.On, the only competitor not to announce an increase at that time, has since told customers that their bills will be increased from January.

The commonly labelled ‘big six’ consists of British Gas, EDF Energy, SSE, Npower, Scottish Power and E.On, manage between them the vast majority of the UK energy market. In the past competition between these companies has been called into question, and a competition enquiry into the sector has recently been suggested. The reason for this is claims that these companies behave in a manner that does not provide customers with a fair choice of deals. Instead, energy companies have been accused of adopting a ‘pack mentality’ whereby prices are raised as a reaction to moves by competitors. This means that when one or two companies raise prices, the rest follow, and consumers have no choice but to accept a more expensive deal.

That happened again in November, in a move very similar to last winter. While we may expect energy prices to rise, as prices for nearly everything we buy and use does, it is the scale of the increases that are most damaging to consumers. Last month, the biggest rise in the price of the average gas bill was 11.1%, and the lowest 3.9%, while the top rise for electricity was 9.3% and the smallest rise 3.9%. With inflation below 3%, people are left wondering how energy companies can justify these huge price increases.

With so much in the news about this recently, awareness of these changes, as well as what can be done to combat them, has increased. This is why we decided to ask our users whether or not they would be looking to change to another supplier in search of a better deal, and what their thoughts are on how much they are paying.

Happy with the cost of your energy?

One of the questions we asked consumers was whether or not they are happy with how much they are paying for their energy. Fewer than one-in-ten said that they were happy with their current deal, suggesting that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction about how much energy currently costs.

Is switching provider too much hassle for little reward?

While it’s clear all providers are increasing prices over a similar period, there are providers who are raising prices at a higher rate than others, and also those that are holding off on the increases for longer. Despite this, 13.6% thought that changing their gas and electricity provider was too much effort for possible meagre savings.

So, will you be changing your provider?

On the other hand, 59.1% said that they would look for a better deal to see if they could save money, and 18.2% said that they would definitely change their energy supplier. These amounts combined represent over three-quarters of consumers, and reaffirm the need for a competitive energy market.

What can you do?

There are options when considering a new provider. You can compare prices in your area by using your postcode at This will tell you information about who you are going to get your cheapest deal though, and the possible savings this could provide you with compared to your current deal.

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