4 out of 10 consumers never switch energy providers despite skyrocketing prices

Many energy customers have never switched suppliers despite unprecedented price increases over the last year.

A search commissioned by the energy regulator found that there was an increase in the number of conversions in the last year.

But 39pc of consumers in the electricity market and 40pc in the gas market have never switched suppliers, according to the annual consumer survey from the Commission on Utilities Regulation (CRU).

The commission says conversions increase slightly in 2021, with 19pc of electricity and 20pc of customers converting to gas over the past year.

“The main driver of the switch is money-saving opportunities,” the regulator said.

More than 35 separate price hike announcements have been made in the past year, with some vendors reporting double-digit increases.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to put further pressure on wholesale costs, which are likely to drive consumer prices further this year.

Covid-19 has resulted in difficulty paying energy bills for a large number of customers.

About 12% of electricity customers and 21% of gas customers show that the ability of households to pay bills has been negatively affected by Covid-19.

The survey, conducted by Behavior & Attitude Ltd and The Research Perspective Ltd, shows a large increase in consumers and businesses using price comparison sites to switch providers.

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Ease of conversion remains high at 94pc for electricity and 92pc for gas, CRU said, based on survey results.

And there has been an improvement in the comparability of consumer and business offers.

Invoice understanding has improved to an already high rate recorded in 2020, with many customers now claiming to have read at least some portion of their bill.

The increasing number of domestic electricity customers shows that they have now opened their bills and read the details.

And there has been an increase in the number of consumers submitting their meter readings.

Half of energy customers are aware of the possibility of making a payment arrangement with their supplier in the event of a payment problem.

CRU Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly urged consumers to switch.

“While conversion rates have remained steady, with recent price increases across all providers, now is the time to be an active consumer and negotiate or switch your suppliers to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.”

She advises customers who may be vulnerable due to advanced age, disability or illness to take advantage of additional safeguards by contacting their energy supplier to sign up for the service register. their priority and/or special services.

Energy suppliers are required to maintain a list of their customers who rely heavily on electrically powered equipment.

Taoiseach Michael Martin last week warned of rising energy prices after Russia invaded Ukraine.

However, he said no new measures are likely to be announced to ease rising energy costs in Ireland, such as delaying a carbon tax increase or extending electricity bonuses to users. gas, because the pursuit of inflation will eventually “set up its own set of failures.”

He also ruled out a €200 electricity credit, which will be deducted from bills for March and April, which will be extended to gas suppliers to ease the pressure on these customers. 4 out of 10 consumers never switch energy providers despite skyrocketing prices

Fry Electronics Team

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