Survey Reveals Why Utilities Consumers Do Not Switch Energy Providers

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30th September 2013 11:46 - Utilities

Levels of switching between providers in the energy industry are at an all-time low, with only a tenth (16%) of consumers changing supplier last year. Research from uSwitch.com shows that almost half of consumers are afraid that they will have to “go it alone” when they change provider, while two-fifths (38%) believe that switching is difficult (including 7% who feared losing their supply and 3% who believed their garden would have to be dug-up).  However, over four fifths (85%) of those who have switched at least once said they found the process easy.

A further, slightly older, Uswitch.com survey, suggests that half (45%) of consumers trust their energy suppliers less than they did two years ago - against a tenth (10%) who trust them more, while a Which? survey suggested that last month eight out of ten consumers are worried that their bill will go up.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said:

"More needs to be done to simplify the market as it's clear consumers are crying out for a streamlined process with better guarantees. Ofgem has made bold statements that its retail market review will go far to make the market simpler, clearer and fairer for consumers, but the proof will be in the pudding."

First Utility also released a survey which shows more than one-third (35%) of consumers said they would be more likely to switch if the process was quicker, while nine out of ten agreed it should be speeded up so they could get a better deal.

Findings have come to light after Ed Miliband – leader of the Labour Party –promised to freeze gas and electricity bills for every home and business in the UK for 20 months if Labour wins the 2015 election.

Ed Miliband continued to say:

"Your bills will be frozen, benefitting millions of families and millions of businesses… The companies won't like it because it will cost them money. But they have been overcharging people for too long because of a market that doesn't work. It is time to reset the market."

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