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DECC encourages winter energy switchers

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is encouraging UK homes to switch energy suppliers to save an average £200 off their annual utility bill.

In a statement timed to coincide with the clocks going back, secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Davey urged Brits to use the extra hour to shop around. He said: “I want people to get a better deal on their energy bills. Switching is now quicker and easier to do so why not make the most of the extra time this weekend to save yourself some money?

“Some of the new smaller suppliers are cutting prices and forcing bigger players to respond. Over 2 million people switched energy supplier between last October and March this year as competition hots up.”

Earlier this year, Davey took his own advice and switched to newly-launched energy provider, Green Star Energy.

The department claims that shopping around for a new energy tariff will take around 45 minutes. Energy suppliers have agreed to halve the time it takes to switch energy suppliers by the end of the year. Ultimately, DECC wants to introduce 24-hour switching on the back of the smart meter rollout.  

With winter approaching, consumers need to get themselves into gear and secure a better deal – Tom Lyon, uSwitch.com

DECC is encouraging those that switch to use the money saved to finance a home energy efficiency assessment under the Green Deal to further cut their fuel bills.

The department is also keen to stress that those who live in rented accommodation are free to switch energy suppliers. Research carried out by Ofgem revealed that three quarters of renters have never switched energy suppliers with a number falsely believing that they were not entitled to switch suppliers. DECC says that renters should tell their landlord that they intend to switch energy suppliers in order to highlight any supplier tie-ins upfront.

Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, echoed Davey’s call for switching suppliers, he said: “With winter approaching, consumers need to get themselves into gear and secure a better deal before the cold weather starts to bite. There is currently a £304 difference between the cheapest and the most expensive tariff on the market, so it is well worth the minutes it takes to shop around and see what the market has to offer.”