Switching energy supplier '˜could save Scots £300m a year'

Scottish households could save £300 million this year by switching their energy supplier, according to campaigners.

A survey for the Energy Saving Trust found that more than one million homes are on “autopilot” when it comes to their energy supply and are missing out on potential annual savings of around £300 a year by failing to change supplier.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Mori, also found that nearly 60% of non-switchers believe they are on the cheapest energy tariff available, something campaigners said was unlikely.

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By contrast, campaigners said consumers are more than twice as likely to change their home insurer than their energy provider, with almost a quarter of households having switched at least four times in the last decade.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “Many bill payers in Scotland are missing out on substantial annual savings because they assume they are on the best tariff without actually checking.

“Prices fluctuate every year, so by not switching and being on ‘energy autopilot’, consumers may be sleepwalking towards having less money.”

The figures have been revealed ahead of Big Energy Saving Week, a UK-wide campaign involving the Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice Scotland and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Running from Monday until November 6, it will see events held around the country to offer advice on reducing energy costs.

Citizens Advice also offers an online price comparison tool to help bill payers find a cheaper supplier.

Anne Lavery, acting chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “Switching gas and electricity can help people cut their bills.

“Checking their current tariff and comparing prices regularly means people can spot the best new deals and switch to a supplier that gives them the best value for money.”

The survey questioned 500 bill-paying adults in Scotland.