Consumers ‘too busy’ to shop for cheaper power

Householders are hurting from high electricity prices, but most are too busy or find it too difficult to shop around for a better deal.

According to a survey carried out by the OneBigSwitch.ie of its more than 22,000 members, three out of four households remain on their retailers standard plan, despite the possibility of making savings by switching.

The One Big Switch is a national group switching campaign aiming to attract as many members as possible and then approach energy suppliers to negotiate a better energy deal on behalf of the members.

The survey details the average cost of electricity for householders; and issues about switching providers for better deals.

More than half of all householders under 40 years of age said they were too busy to switch, while approximately two in five people over the age of 70 said they had not switched because they found it too difficult. Consumers aged between 30 and 50 are the most likely to switch.

The study found consumers aged between 40 and 60 are, on average, paying higher bills — most likely because they have families to support.

Unsurprisingly, the larger the household, the bigger the average bill. However, the survey found people living on their own tend to pay more per person, with bills ranging from an average €916 for a one-person household to €366 per person for a six-person plus household.

Most consumers blame energy retailers and the Government for high prices, with about 83% of people blaming one or the other.

Leitrim reported the worst bill stress, with Dublin reporting the lowest average bill stress. Households in Wexford had the most reason to complain, with a reported average of 2.3 blackouts per year over the last five years.

Commenting on the survey findings, co-founder of OneBigSwitch.ie Oliver Tattan said people were increasingly cost- conscious, but were still slow to switch their energy provider.



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