£900 million energy company rip-off

12 September 2016
£900 million energy company rip-off

We've long spoken about the incredibly dubious behaviour being conducted by energy companies, and one of them is how businesses are signing-up new customers on cheap tariffs, before switching them to more expensive ones.

There's more research that has been recently revealed, which says that energy firms are pocketing somewhere in the region of £900 million with these automatic switches, which occur after introductory deals end when new customers sign-up.

Unsurprisingly, the Big Six all feature in this research, notably British Gas, EDF, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE.

Of course, the energy companies are still saying that it is up to customers to switch to a better tariff if they don't like this, however, the calls for energy firms to take some responsibility in all this, is getting louder.

The most expensive switches are as follows:

  • First Utility - 53% rise from First Fixed July 2017 (£745.61) to First Variable (£1,139.89).
  • npower - 48% rise from Price Fix July 2017 (£724.2) to Standard Energy (£1,071.85)
  • EDF - 47% rise from Energy Simple Fixed May 17 (£727) to Standard Variable (£1,068.4)
  • Extra Energy - 45% rise from Fresh Fixed Price Oct 2017 v1 ((752.91) to Variable Price v1 (1,094.97)
  • Scottish Power - a 45% rise from Online Fixed Price Energy June 2017 (£728.84) to Standard (£1,059.45)
  • British Gas - 43% rise from HomeEnergy Exclusive June 2017 (£720.22) to Standard (£1,030.84)
  • Sainsbury's - 38% rise Fixed Price June 2017 (£746.71) to Standard (£1,030.84)
  • Co-op Energy - a 37% rise from Fix For Longer Sept 2017 (£757.67) to Pioneer v5.2 (£1,041.79)
  • SSE - a 37% rise from the 1 Year Fixed v8 (£752.48) to Standard (£1,027.98). Paperless
  • E.ON - 36% rise MSM fixed 1 Year Collective March 2016 (£758), to Energy Plan paperless (£1031.3)

The research was published by Octopus Energy.

Their chief executive, Greg Jackson, said: "It should be clear to the customer what they will be paying once their 12-month deal is up. It's exploitative and not letting them make an informed decision."

"Most people think once they have switched provider, and the year is up, the price increase will not be too much. But actually companies are levying cynical hikes."

"By the time the company lets you know your deal is running out, you have normally received so much junk mail from them that you don't bother reading it."

"Energy is something we all need and there is no difference in the quality. We shouldn't be penalised by such a huge amount when a contract runs out."

TOPICS:   Utilities

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