Customers pay 'more than they need to'

By Mark HeathENERGY customers in the East of England are paying an average of £60 more a year than they need to, an industry watchdog has claimed.Regulator OFGEM said customers receiving electricity from Powergen are paying about £29 a year over the odds, while British Gas subscribers pay about £31 more than they need to.

By Mark Heath

ENERGY customers in the East of England are paying an average of £60 more a year than they need to, an industry watchdog has claimed.

Regulator OFGEM said customers receiving electricity from Powergen are paying about £29 a year over the odds, while British Gas subscribers pay about £31 more than they need to.

Urging homeowners to shop around, the watchdog claimed there were up to seven gas and electricity suppliers in the region offering cheaper deals.


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OFGEM's director of consumer markets, Iain Osborne, said: "There are no prizes for loyalty in the energy market.

"We would urge all customers in the East of England, who have never moved from Powergen or British Gas, to shop around for a better deal.

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"There are at least seven other electricity and gas suppliers offering cheaper deals in the East of England and households can save £60 on average.

"Our research has shown that changing supplier is easy and quick to do and around half of all customers have switched already. So, why pay more for your energy than you have to?"

But Anthony Chmarny, a spokesman for British Gas, said the company did offer good value for money.

He added: "Customer always have a choice in who supplies them for gas or electricity and some will choose price over customer service.

"However, British Gas offers many ways to make considerable saving on energy bill, such as dual-fuel discounts, online billing discounts, direct debit discounts and even price capping on electricity. "A recent survey by JD Powers (International Research Company) voted British Gas as the best supplier in the UK for customer satisfaction."

A spokesman for Powergen said: "We're committed to helping our customers save money and there are many savings to be made.

"Powergen is the only supplier to provide tariffs specifically tailored for older customers through the fixed price Stay Warm from Powergen tariff and the Age Concern Energy Services tariff.

"In addition, Powergen offers a range of value-adding products and benefits including Energy Saving Plan, which offers our customers over £200 of energy saving benefits.

"Powergen also has 100 energy saving tips and advice to help customers lower their energy bills, as well as a free Energy Efficiency helpline on 0500 201000."

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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