The internet has become a necessary medium through which many people conduct their personal and business affairs on a day-to-day basis. As the internet continues to grow in terms of usage and usability, firms have realised massive savings can be made by providing online-only services; accordingly, it ought not to come as a surprise that domestic energy consumers are paying a price for choosing gas and electricity tariffs the old fashioned way.
According to uSwitch.com, which advertises itself as a “free, impartial online and telephone comparison and switching service” for customers of gas central heating, electricity and various other finance-related products, the average household that has not chosen an online gas and electricity tariff is paying £140 more than the typical online customer.
Many energy customers might think the findings of the uSwitch.com study rather unfair, as not all households are online and many people prefer to use the telephone to set up important services. The internet, however, is a phenomenon that cannot be ignored and the fact remains that doing business over a broadband connection will usually be cheaper than over the phone, in writing or in person.
As fuel poverty affects millions of people in Britain and with approximately 71 per cent of UK adults having access to broadband internet, there is arguably no better time than now to make the switch to an online energy plan. The recent gas and electricity price rises introduced by some of the country’s leading energy suppliers are likely to worsen the financial health of many homes in Britain and, with more cold weather anticipated for the next two-three months, domestic energy customers need all the help they can get when it comes to saving money.
Tom Lyon, an energy advisor at uSwitch.com, commented: “When winter fuel bills start to hit doormats consumers could be in for a nasty shock. They will be facing the combined impact of winter price rises along with a potential £7 a week additional cost caused by severe cold weather. The concern is that many will react by cutting down on heating and hot water which will severely impact their quality of life whereas they could cut the cost of these essentials by £140 a year by moving online.”