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Consumers urged to shop around to save money on energy

Consumers might be concerned over the rising cost of fuels bills, but many of them don’t think to shop around to see if they can get a better deal, according to a new report published by energy regulator Ofgem.

Ofgem estimates that more than 20 million Brits could be missing out by not looking around for a better deal; their survey results showed that while 33% of people are worried about the increasing costs of energy, 43% don’t consider finding a better deal as a priority.

The survey was carried out as part of the new “Be an Energy Shopper” campaign. Ofgem says that while people might consider shopping around for clothes or food, they often don’t think about looking for a better energy deal.

Ofgem hopes that the new campaign will encourage people to go bargain hunting for a better price on their energy bills, and it says that consumers could save up to £200 a year by changing energy suppliers.

Commenting in a press release, Dermot Nolan, Chief Executive at Ofgem said:

“We shop and compare prices for many things in life, yet we often don’t think to do the same when it comes to our energy bills, even when we could be saving around £200.  Previously, people found it difficult to compare tariffs and the process too time consuming but the recent reforms have changed things for the better.  With the introduction of ‘Be An Energy Shopper’ it has never been easier to go energy shopping and get a better deal on your gas and electricity.”

As part of the campaign, consumers are being urged to find a cheaper deal and a new website has been set up to help people get a better price. The website can be found at:

www.goenergyshopping.co.uk

The Government has also been urged to help consumers that are struggling to pay their energy bills. In response, The Government has announced plans to make it easier for people to change suppliers if they find a better deal; they announced earlier this year that energy switching times are to halve by the end of 2014.

In a press release, Secretary of State for Energy, at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey said: 

“Making the switch is easier than ever before, and the ‘Be an energy shopper’ campaign gives consumers practical advice on how to shop around and get the best deal for their energy use. Having made the switch myself, I would encourage anyone who hasn't already done so to check whether their current supplier is giving them the best deal - and if it isn’t, switch.

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