Hundreds of thousands miss out on £180 by not switching energy tariff during lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a drop in consumers switching energy tariffs – with hundreds of thousands missing out on an average saving of £180.

Newly released figures reveal that the number of UK homeowners switching their supplier has dipped for the first time in six years.

Data from Free Price Compare, the comparison website, show that between March and December 2020, 436,000 fewer UK consumers switched to a cheaper tariff. 

That’s despite the general trend of homeowners looking to cut costs amid the economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, half of UK consumers are missing out on a potential £2.6billion in savings.

There’s a full breakdown of tariff savings for each UK region here:

Shailesh Ramani, Director at Free Price Compare, said: “Switching energy provider to obtain a competitive fixed rate is a quick and hassle-free process, which can save most individuals an average of £318 if they are switching with us from a standard variable tariff. 

“However, in the UK, so many homeowners are seemingly hesitant or reluctant to change supplier. It’s incredible to think that approximately £2.6 billion could be saved, if as a nation we were all aware of just how easy it is to switch and save.

“2020 was certainly a very difficult year for many, with COVID-19 having a negative impact on many household incomes. Although you would think this might mean more consumers reviewing their regular spending and monthly direct debits, when it comes to switching to cheaper energy tariffs with an alternative supplier, fewer people were doing so last year – in fact over 436,000 less than in 2019. 

“This trend seems to be continuing into 2021, and could be purely because consumers have more important things on their minds than energy bills – despite the fact that savings could be considerable during such uncertain times when many of us are also working from home using more gas and electricity.

“With the recently announced price cap rise for default tariff customers now coming in as of the beginning of April, consumers are being urged to switch from a variable to a fixed tariff as soon as possible to avoid the higher rates and yet more costly bills.

“Currently some of the best deals on the market are dual fuel tariffs with E.ON, and I would encourage any homeowner to spend the five minutes it takes to look into, with no obligation, what they could be saving on a fixed tariff via Free Price Compare – the site that compares more energy suppliers than any other comparison website in the UK.”

For more details on cutting costs by switching energy provider, visit

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