Cambridgeshire residents ‘lost £45 million by not switching energy suppliers’

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People in Cambridgeshire are potentially losing out on millions of pounds in savings by not switching energy suppliers, according to new research.

The claim was made to launch a fresh campaign to encourage people to take steps to reduce their energy costs.

And events are taking place around the county to help get the message across to consumers.

According to industry regulator Ofgem, residents can save around £300 on their annual energy costs by moving from one supplier to another.

But figures released by the Energy Saving Trust, which provides research on the industry, suggest people in Cambridgeshire lost a total of £45 million last year by staying with the same provider.

The trust says almost 150,000 householders across the county are on what it calls “Energy Autopilot”.

The term refers to people who believe they are on the cheapest energy tariff, but often are not.

Overall, only 13 per cent of East Anglia residents switched their gas and electricity providers in the 12 months to July 2016, one of the lowest figures in Britain.

It is also estimated that people are up to four times more likely to switch their home insurer than their energy supplier.

Chief executive Philip Sellwood said: “Many bill payers in Cambridgeshire 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.”

Help and advice during Big Energy Saving Week

The trust is working with Citizens Advice and the government to promote the benefits of switching providers during Big Energy Saving Week, running from Monday, 31 October.

Advice sessions are taking place at venues in Peterborough, Wisbech, March, Ely and Cambridge, you can find details of local sessions at bigenergysavingweek.org.uk.

Consumer minister Margot James said: “Millions of people have already switched and saved this year, but we know that some people can find it difficult to find the best deal.

“Big Energy Saving Week will help people up and down the country find out how they could save on their energy bills, as we create a country that works for everyone.”

Advice on how to switch companies, and how much you could save, is also available at energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk or via the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 1231234.

Full details of advice sessions taking place near you, and more information is available at bigenergysavingweek.org.uk.