Consumers find it too much hassle to switch energy suppliers, study shows

Despite rising gas and electricity bills, a third of consumers think it is too much hassle to switch energy suppliers, according to new research.

The study by market research group Mintel found that changing providers is seen as an inconvenience and 32% of UK homeowners “can’t be bothered” to make the switch.

Almost a quarter of households changed their energy supplier last year, but one in seven consumers think there are not many savings to be made by switching.

Of those that have made the switch, one in five did so as a result of a direct contact from the energy company, which 14% used online price comparison sites to find a better deal.

While there is “not a great deal of enthusiasm” about making the switch, consumers are keen to improve their energy efficiency. More than a third of consumers have had their home insulated to cut energy bills and 30% say they would like to use an energy supplier that uses renewable energy, but they don’t want to pay more for it.

Richard Caines, senior retail analyst at Mintel says: “Marketing more added value energy related products and services for the home should be the way forward.”

Energy providers are vying for consumers’ custom offering fixed price plans and promoting their green credentials.

Last month, Eon kicked off the winter price wars with its WinterGas programme, which it claims will guarantee customers the cheapest bills this winter. The company has also launched a national campaign to raise the debate over green energy issues.

EDF Energy launched the second phase of its television campaign using recycled TV clips to promote its Eco20:20 energy tariff.

Yesterday, EDF Energy’s Green Britain Day advertising campaign was cleared by the ASA, after complaints claimed it was misleading.

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