Postcode Lottery For Best Energy Prices
Published: 4 June 2010 By MoneyHighStreet Staff Leave a Comment
There is a postcode lottery when trying to find the best prices for your gas and electricity, uSwitch is warning.
Where you live could be be costing you an additional £189 in energy bills every year, according to the price comparison website. Scottish Power, for example charges customers £189 more for some areas than others.
The average price difference from one area to another is £100 as energy suppliers adopt regional pricing strategies. Often it is the region in which the supplier is based that sees the highest charges. It appears that EDF is the worst offender as customers living in Bristol (Sweb), Brighton (Seeboard) and London will be paying £959, £945 and £939 a year respectively, while customers in Nottingham (East Midlands region, and therefore outside the three EDF incumbent regions) pay just £865.
According to uSwitch, the cheapest region for energy is East Midlands, where customers pay £855, on average. In contrast, those who live in Cardiff, which is the incumbent Swalec region, are charged the most – on average £949 per year.
With the best energy deals available online, wherever you live, it clearly pays to shop around to find the cheapest gas and electricity prices. It is also easy to switch energy supplier to benefit from the best deals, as our article points out. Consumers should also realise that they may not receive the best prices from their local supplier, as Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com points out:
“Consumers cannot assume that their local supplier will automatically be cheaper – very often they are not. The key thing is for consumers to understand that energy companies price by region and to minimise the impact. They can do this by making sure they move to the most competitive plan with the most competitive supplier in their region. Even though all suppliers offer their cheapest prices online, these can vary by as much as £155 in one area, which is why it’s so important for households to shop around.”