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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 7:50 EDT

Energy Bill Payers Stretched to Limit but Taking Action

October 11, 2012

CHESTER, England, October 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

        - More than half of Brits said SSE price hike made them think about
          switching
        - A third say a rise in monthly outgoings of GBP50 or less would push them to
          financial breaking point

British bill payers have been sparked into action to combat the rising cost of energy.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) threw down the gauntlet in August, being the first of
the ‘Big Six’ to hike its gas and electricity prices and with speculation there may be
price rises from other providers, people are fighting back, says MoneySupermarket.com
[http://www.moneysupermarket.com ].

Britain’s number one comparison site conducted a poll of almost 1,700 site users on
their reaction to the price hike. Over half (52 per cent) said they would look to switch
to a cheaper energy tariff. Of those, 28 per cent had already applied for a new tariff, 11
per cent planned to do so within a week, while another 13 per cent said they would switch
providers at some point. Typical savings by using MoneySupermarket to change energy
products is GBP200 – a tidy sum, especially as a tenth of those polled said they aren’t
tempted to switch to a cheaper deal as they don’t think the savings are worth it.

Scott Byrom, Energy channel manager at MoneySupermarket.com
[http://www.moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity ] said: “It’s a bleak outlook for
those already stretched to their affordability tipping point by rising household bills.
SSE is the only provider to show its hand so far, but unfortunately a round of price hikes
now would mean bills increase just in time for the more costly winter months when energy
usage is at its highest. Worryingly over a third of the UK adult population (36 per cent)
believe a rise in monthly outgoings of GBP50 or less would push them to financial breaking
point. Of these, one in five say they are now sitting on the brink, finding it impossible
to meet their monthly bills and costs**. The recent increases to energy bills are
certainly going to push some people very close to the limit of what they can afford.

“Anyone hoping to keep their energy bills low in a turbulent energy market should opt
for the best value fixed price tariff, currently offered by OVO Energy. Its New Energy
Plan product costs GBP1,088 a year on average with prices fixed for 12 months from your
start date. This tariff isn’t available in the Scottish Hydro region however, the cheapest
provider in this region is SSE. Its Fixed Discount tariff costs GBP1,149.71 on average
with prices fixed until April 2014. While we have not yet hit winter in earnest, the
longer, colder nights are certainly drawing in so customers languishing on their
provider’s standard tariff should act now to ensure they switch onto the best deal in
time.”

Notes to Editors:

Average, standard and fixed tariffs:

                                                                                     Average
                        Average                                                      Saving
                       Standard                                                     Fixed vs
          Provider      Tariff          Online Tariffs       Fixed Tariff           Standard

        British Gas    GBP1,240.07      GBP1,120.29          GBP1,299.10          -GBP59.03
                                        Online Variable       Fixed Price
                                          August 2013           May 2014

        EDF Energy     GBP1,202.38      N/A                  GBP1,143.34           GBP59.04
                                                           Blue+ Price Promise
                                                                May 2014
        E.ON           GBP1,222.65      GBP1,123.71          GBP1,158.74           GBP63.91
                                        Energy Discount       Fixed 1 Year

        npower         GBP1,243.48      GBP1,071.71          GBP1,157.00           GBP171.77
                                         Energy Online           Go Fix
                                          January 2014        January 2014
        Scottish
        Power          GBP1,349.42             N/A           GBP1,139.98           GBP209.44
                                                           Online Fixed Price
                                                           Energy (April 2014)

        SSE            GBP1,354.20             N/A           GBP1,262.20           GBP92.00
                         (wef                                Fixed Discount
                       15.10.2012)                            December 2014

        First Utility  N/A               GBP1,127.92         N/A                   -
                                           iSave v11

        OVO Energy     N/A                                   GBP1,088.00           -
                                                            New energy fixed
                                                        (not available in
                                                         Scottish Hydro region)

        Average       GBP1,251.60        GBP1,110.91         GBP1,181.89           GBP89.52

Sourced by http://www.moneysupermarket.com 09.10.2012

* Will the latest energy price hike prompt you to switch to a cheaper deal?

Yes – I have already applied for a new tariff – 27.7%

Yes – I plan to do so in the next week – 11.2%

Yes – I will at some point – 12.6%

No – I’m tied in to my current tariff – 22.1%

No – It’s too much hassle – 9.3%

No – The savings aren’t worth it – 10.2%

I don’t know – 6.9%

Total votes: 1685

** Research conducted by Opinium Research between 13th – 16th July 2012 amongst 2,011
nationally representative adults aged 18+.

Price rises announced by UK energy companies Summer 2011

                                     Electricity Average
                        Gas increase increase    Standard    Date       Date
        Provider        (%)          (%)         tariff      announced  effective
        Scottish Power  19           10          GBP1,391.21 07/06/2011 01/08/2011
        British Gas     18           16          GBP1,286.04 08/07/2011 18/08/2011
        Scottish and
        Southern        18           11          GBP1,265.00 21/07/2011 14/09/2011
        E.ON            18           11.4        GBP1,254.55 05/08/2011 13/09/2011
        npower          16           7.2         GBP1,289.00 16/08/2011 01/10/2011
        EDF Energy      15.4         4.5         GBP1,241.00 15/09/2011 10/11/2011
        Average         17.4         10          GBP1,287.80

Price decreases announced by UK energy companies January 2012

                          Gas     Electricity   Average
                        decrease   decrease    Standard     Date
           Provider       (%)         (%)       tariff    announced Date effective
                                                            12th
        British Gas       N/A         5%      GBP1,260.56  January   Immediately
                                                            11th
        EDF Energy         5%         N/A     GBP1,202.38  January   7th February
                                                            16th
        E.ON              N/A         6%      GBP1,222.65  January  27th February
                                                            13th
        npower             5%         N/A     GBP1,243.48  January   1st February
        Scottish and                                        12th
        Southern          4.5%        N/A     GBP1,229.95  January    26th March
        Scottish Power                        GBP1,391.21
        Average           4.8%       5.5%     GBP1,258.37

Price rises announced by UK energy companies Summer 2012

                                                Average
                   Gas increase  Electricity    Standard    Date       Date
        Provider   (%)           increase (%)   tariff      announced  effective
        SSE        9             9              GBP1,354.20 22/08/2012 15/10/2012
        Average    9             9              GBP1,354.20

MoneySupermarket.com compares (at 30th Aug 2012)

        - 107 car insurance providers and 82 home insurance providers
        - 12 broadband providers and 18 energy providers
        - 32 unsecured loan and 6 secured loan providers
        - 62 mortgage lenders and 28 credit card providers
        - 66 savings providers and 37 current account providers.
        - Over 1,200,000 mobile phone deals

Our customers

We help our customers to save money on all of their household bills by providing a
free, easy to use online service so they can compare a wide range of products in one place
and find the product most suited to their needs. Our size means we are able to offer our
customers exclusive, market-leading deals, including some they can’t even get direct from
providers.

Our providers

By having considerable volumes of informed customers actively looking for products and
ready to purchase, we offer our providers an efficient and cost effective customer
acquisition solution across all of our channels. This enables our providers to target
their marketing spend in an effective and completely measurable way.

Our revenue comes predominantly from fees paid to us by product providers when a
customer clicks through to their website and actually applies for or purchases a product.
It is a success based marketing fee.

Our customer commitment

        - We make it easy to find the brands you expect to see
        - We strive to ensure a product cannot be found cheaper by going direct
        - We let you remain in control of your personal data
        - We are independent and impartial
        - We make it easy to switch and save
        - We strive to always show the most competitive product available

For further information, please contact:
Paul Lawler / Kate Murphy, +44(0)787-237-9545 / +44(0)1244-221978,
paul.lawler@moneysupermarket.com / kate.murphy@moneysupermarket.com

SOURCE MoneySupermarket.com


Source: PR Newswire