The voice of the energy industry

Simple to switch – energy myths exposed

Millions of people could be missing out on better energy deals because switching myths block them from moving to other providers or tariffs according to our new research.

Key findings show that, while most people said they would shift energy supplier if it would save them money, they were put off by some persistent myths and misunderstandings. We have launched a new animation to encourage customers to shop around for the best deal for them.

Key myths revealed:

  • almost a fifth of people thought suppliers needed access to your home (16%);
  • one in fifteen (7%) believed energy suppliers would dig up your garden; and
  • almost one in ten (9%) thought they would need to get a new meter
  • over half of respondents (59%) thought it was impossible to switch if they owed their current supplier money – in reality, prepayment meter customers can transfer up to £500 per fuel.

Our research also uncovered that:

  • Nearly four out of five people would shift to save money (79%);
  • Just over half want to be able to compare prices in one place (55%), with under half looking for assurance that switching sites showed offers in a fair and unbiased way (46%);
  • Around a third wanted a cooling off period so they could change their mind (32%) and, similarly, if the paperwork only took a couple of minutes (30%); and
  • A fifth of respondents wanted to be sure they would not get cut off (18%)

Angela Knight CBE, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said:

“Most people would consider switching energy supplier but there’s still too many myths getting in the way. The energy industry has already reduced and simplified the number of tariffs, and made it easier to compare and switch to the best deal. Energy UK’s new 'simple to switch’ film will explode some of the common myths, answer some of the most common doubts about switching and help encourage more people to consider checking out the deals that are best for them.

Our new research confirms there are still some outdated myths preventing people from seizing the opportunity of saving money through switching. We still have some work to do to educate and reassure people about the benefits of switching and how the process works. But 'Simple to Switch’ – with its animation and the information on our site is a good first step.”

'Simple to Switch’ is a one minute animation designed to set the switching record straight. It gives clear and concise information on how to switch supplier or tariff, encourages people to take action and answers the myths identified in the research. The Energy UK film has had input from both energy companies, the regulator and consumer groups.

The animation and web page can be found at www.energy-uk.org.uk/switch

Notes to Editors

  • For further information please contact the press office on 0207 747 2941/2946
  • In the creation of this project, Energy UK consulted with the energy regulator Ofgem, uSwitch, Which?, MoneySavingExpert.com and Consumer Futures on the script for the animation
  • Populus was commissioned by Energy UK and interviewed 2,015 GB adults online between 29 and 30 May. Results have been weighted to be representative of all GB adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information see www.populus.co.uk.
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