First Utility calls on rivals to help customers save

Caitlin Morrison
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ENERGY supplier First Utility has challenged its competitors to scrap variable tariffs, and make it easier for customers to switch to cheaper tariffs.

The company says more needs to be done to help consumers avoid overpaying on their energy bills. According to First Utility, 70 per cent of Big Six customers are overpaying by an average of £235 per year, which means UK consumers could be saving a collective £3.4bn annually.

The firm said today that this could be remedied by scrapping the standard variable tariff, and providing information on the cheapest tariffs across the entire market on a monthly basis.

First Utility chief executive Ian McCaig said the fact that 60 per cent of UK energy customers are on the most expensive tariff is “inexcusable” given that wholesale prices have been falling, and said the industry needs to change from within.

“A big step would be to scrap the standard variable tariff and call it what it is - the ‘Out of Contract Tariff’ i.e. the tariff you’re left on when you’re not on one of the good ones,” said McCaig. “Just as importantly, every household should be told in writing every month whether there’s a better, cheaper tariff for them.”

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