Customers with the Big Six energy companies could be missing out on as much as £400 a year on their energy bills, despite announced price cuts

Hayley Kirton
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Switching away from the Big Six would save customers loads more than waiting for price cuts, says Which? (Source: Getty)

The energy market is still failing to provide consumers with the best possible prices, research released today by consumer interest company Which? has found.

The study found that customers of the so-called Big Six energy companies – British Gas, EDF Energy, npower, E.on, Scottish Power and SSE – could save up to £400 a year if they switched to the cheapest fuel deal on the market.

According to Which?, this dwarves the amount that standard tariff customers will save on their bills after recently announced price cuts have been introduced, as these will lower amounts due by just £30 per year.

Despite this, only a fraction of people are switching energy providers, with government estimating that just one in ten (12 per cent) currently switch their gas provider.

"Millions of people are still paying way over the odds for their energy and levels of switching, while increasing, are still woefully low," said Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director. "We would urge all consumers, especially those on a standard tariff with the Big Six, to switch to a cheaper deal today."

Read more: Is the UK on the verge of an energy crisis?

However, Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, remarked:

Energy companies are bringing down their prices with cheaper tariffs launched almost every week. Since 2014 the cheapest tariffs have fallen by around £200.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for EDF Energy added: "Our fixed tariffs don’t have any exit fees, so customers are free to shop around and switch if they see a better deal."

The Big Six currently supply energy to nearly nine out of ten (88 per cent) households in the UK, according to recent Cornwall Energy Domestic Energy Market figures.

Last month, British Gas and EDF Energy announced that they would be slashing prices by 5.1 per cent and five per cent respectively, making them the final two of the Big Six to offer price cuts to customers in the space of a few weeks.

The Competition and Markets Authority launched phase two its own investigation into the the supply and acquisition of energy in 2014.

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