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COVID hits energy tariff switching figures: £2.6 billion could be saved

For the first time in six years, national figures show there has been a decrease in the number of UK homeowners changing their energy supplier to switch to a more competitive tariff, to lower their bills.

During 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 436,000 fewer consumers* making savings on their energy bills via comparison websites such as Free Price Compare – with the months of March through to December revealing a significant reduction in the amount of households switching provider compared to 2019.

This trend is surprising as the uncertainty of COVID-19 would lead many to believe consumers would be tightening their belts wherever possible, saving on costs in all areas of everyday spending.

With more than half of UK customers** still currently on an unnecessarily expensive variable energy tariff – a trend that has remained unchanged for the last five years – if everyone switched now to competitive fixed rates, utilising a comparison site, then collectively over £2.6 billion could be saved*** and instead pumped into local economies in times of need.

Regionally, the biggest collective savings to be made by customers switching from a variable to a fixed tariff are in the South East (the area covered by Seeboard) – at potentially over £345 million – whereas, in the entirety of Scotland it is just £85 million. For all regional statistics***, including the average annual bill of a fixed tariff versus a variable tariff in each region, visit:

Director at Free Price Compare, Shailesh Ramani, 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.”

To find out more about how to switch energy provider, in order to secure a more competitive tariff, go to:

*Latest statistics from Energy UK publication.html (
**According to
***Data sources include fixed tariff prices from Free Price Compare suppliers, variable rates from energy providers regionally, UK household figures from the Office for National Statistics