More than 25% of UK households don't know what energy tariff they have

Many households don't know who their supplier is and whether they are on a poor-value standard tariff

Josie Clarke
Thursday 04 January 2018 01:14
The survey suggests the Government should do more to engage young people into switching to better tariffs
The survey suggests the Government should do more to engage young people into switching to better tariffs

More than a quarter of households do not know if they are on the most expensive standard variable tariffs (SVTs) for gas and electricity and around one in 20 do not know who supplies their energy, a survey suggests.

The poll for Bulb Energy found 6 per cent of people do not know who their supplier is, while 28 per cent either do not know or are not sure if their household is on a poor-value standard tariff.

This figure rises to 53 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds, while a relatively low 16 per cent of 55- to 74-year-olds are in the same position.

The poll also suggests that households may be confused over whether they have switched away from SVT tariffs.

Some 44 per cent said they had switched in the past year, but Bulb cited industry body Energy UK figures showing that 22 per cent of the UK’s 27.1 million households switched last year.

Bulb said it was surprised that half of the “most technically savvy generation” appeared not to know what type of tariff they were on, but said this could be due to 18- to 24-year-olds typically renting accommodation and mistakenly believing they were unable to switch, or inheriting prepayment meters at properties that often carry restrictions on switching.

Ofgem figures show that as of September the majority of customers – around 57 per cent of those with the 10 largest suppliers – were still on poor-value SVTs, around 13 million customers.

This is an overall reduction of two percentage points since last April.

Bulb said its survey suggests the Government should do more to engage young people into switching to better tariffs.

Hayden Wood, co-founder of Bulb, said: “Complicated tariffs and hard-to-understand bills mean 28 per cent of all households don’t know whether they’re being ripped off or not. I’m particularly concerned that younger generations appear to be the most affected.

“This just shows why the Government must act to introduce a price cap as soon as possible to help families who are currently being taken advantage of by the Big Six.”

Walnut Unlimited surveyed 2,016 UK adults online between 20-22 December.


Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in