When moving home around half of us will keep the previous owner’s energy firm rather than switching to a different provider, new research shows.
But this could prove costly because when you move you are usually switched onto the current provider’s most expensive tariff.
When they do get around to switching, 46 per cent of all consumers will also not switch to a fixed-rate tariff, which are typically the cheapest on the market.
Energy rip off: Half of those moving house remain with the previous owner’s supplier
With fixed-rate energy tariffs, you pay a set amount per unit of energy for the length of the contract – usually 12 months. Variable tariffs on the other hand can change and tend to be the most expensive.
When you move to a new property you are automatically transferred onto what’s called a ‘deemed contract’ which typically tends to be the firm’s most expensive tariff available.
Energy company EDF asked 2,000 adults about their energy habits when moving house and half kept the existing supplier and when they did switch 46 per cent also didn’t choose a fixed rate tariff.
This is despite 70 per cent calling the existing energy supplier to give a meter reading within the first week of moving house.
It takes on average around 27 days for consumers to pick a new energy tariff – if they do decide to switch – while they will have redirected their post in eight days and located the stopcock after 13 days.
The research claims that Britons could be wasting up to £163 per year when moving home by not switching. This is calculated by looking at the price of EDF’s cheapest fixed-rate tariff of £981 compared to the average standard variable tariff of £1,144.
However, as there are a number of cheaper fixed-rate tariffs on the market this saving could be a lot higher.
|Provider||Tariff||Average price||Exit penalties|
|Economy Energy||Online Saver||£843||£25 per fuel|
|OneSelect||Secure 1 Year Fixed||£850||None|
|Avro Energy||Simple and Value||£857||None|
|Breeze||Breeze Energy UK Fixed 1 Year||£858||£25 per fuel|
|Green Network Energy||GNE Italian Touch 12 Month Fixed V7||£861||£25 per fuel|
|Tonik||Positive Energy V8||£866||None|
|Bristol Energy||1 Year Fix Issue 15 Paperless Billing||£867||None|
|So Energy||So Impala||£869||£5 per fuel|
|ENGIE||ENGIE Fixed Sept 18 v4 Paperless||£873||£30 per fuel|
|Source: Energyhelpline, 14/07/17.|
The cheapest tariff on the market at the moment is £843 – more than £100 cheaper than the EDF fix – and comes from Economy Energy. Switching to this tariff from a standard variable tariff with one of the big six energy providers could result in a saving of £301 per year.
The research also looked at what were the main priorities when moving home. Setting up a broadband connection came first, followed by sorting out the energy supplier, telling people about the new address, setting up the TV and clearing out clutter.
While finding an energy supplier came into second place, this could be more to do with the fact that the energy supply will already be up and running when you move into a new home.
With broadband on the other hand, this is usually cut off when someone moves out and a customer needs to actively find a new contract and sign up in order to get online.
Standard variable tariffs are the most expensive and those with one overpay by £1.4bn
Richard Hughes, director of sales and marketing for EDF Energy explains: ‘Despite moving home being an obvious time to check your energy tariff, our research shows almost half of home movers are paying more by simply accepting that the supplier and tariff come with the house.
‘We have a strong track record of encouraging consumers to choose their energy tariff, with 42 per cent of customers (60 per cent of vulnerable customers) on fixed deals, and we are committed to making it as easy as possible for customers to choose the right tariff for them.’
It is possible with some suppliers to keep your existing energy tariff if you move home if you’re in the middle of a fixed-rate period. To find out if this is possible, contact your energy provider and then it should be able to arrange the switch.
When you move into the property, take a meter reading as soon as possible to make sure you are not over or undercharged. You will need to give this to your new supplier, to make sure all payments are up to date and the switch can go ahead.
The Post Office’s Totally Unlimited Broadband deal comes with up to 17 Mbps speeds and free weekend calls. It costs £20 per month fixed for 18 months. £7 setup fee applies. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £26.99 per month
Plusnet’s Unlimited Fibre package offers up to 36Mbps speeds and a £50 cashback bonus. It costs £26 per month with no setup fee. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £33.98 per month
TalkTalk’s TV with Fast Broadband contract up to 17Mbps speeds. It costs £20 per month. It guarantees no price increases for the full 12 months. £25 set top box fee applies. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £25.50 per month
Virgin Media’s Vivid 100 Fibre Broadband deal comes with up to 100 Mbps speeds. It costs £31 per month on an 12 month contract. £20 setup fee applies. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £40 per month
Sky’s Original Bundle with Fibre offers up to 36 Mbps speeds (25GB monthly download cap) with 33% off Sky TV. It costs £39.74 per month on an 18 month contract. £39.95 setup fee applies. At the end of the contract the price jumps to £53.50 per month