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Does the UK need saving from its energy suppliers?

Energy is the UK’s lifeblood. It powers everything from the smartphones we use and the electric cars we drive, to the radiators that keep us warm at night. And while we often take our round-the-clock access to electricity for granted, our relationship with our energy providers can feel somewhat turbulent.

Finding a provider we don’t have to constantly battle with is hard. Which is why we’ve decided to take a closer look at the UK’s attitudes towards its energy.

We surveyed over 2,000 Brits to investigate what they really think about their energy bills, suppliers like the ‘Big Six’, and why it often requires superhero-like strength to leave our energy providers.

energy suppliers hold grip over Brits

Switching gas and electricity suppliers has a ton of benefits: it can help you bag a cheaper deal and in turn, significantly reduce your monthly outgoings. But despite the advantages and ease of changing to a better tariff, Brits just can’t find the strength to leave their energy suppliers.

Almost half of Brits haven’t switched energy supplier in at least two years. One in four switched over 3 years ago — longer than many have been with their current partners![1]

Interestingly, certain parts of the UK are deal-savvier than others. Londoners are most likely to shop around and compare gas and electric prices on a regular basis. Age is also a big factor. Brits aged 61 and over are least likely to shop around for a better tariff – despite being the age group that could benefit the most from cheaper fuel.

Brits do not understand energy jargon

The secret to any good relationship is clear and honest communication. But our survey results show that the UK is often baffled by the language used by energy providers. Brits find understanding their energy bill difficult – more so than negotiating a new phone or TV contract, or cooking their first Christmas dinner.

Worryingly, only 2% know how to read an electricity dial meter correctly – another reason why the smart meter roll-out is needed now more than ever.

Energy industry jargon is going over our heads too. Over 20% of Brits don’t know what a dual fuel tariff is, despite it being a hassle-free way of managing your gas and electricity bills through one provider.

energy bills create an emotional storm

Energy bill stress has become a fact of life for many Brits. Over half of the UK feel anxious when opening communications from their supplier.

Twenty and thirty-somethings are most likely to feel the stress: over four in five 25 to 35-year-olds said they feel anxious when opening an energy bill compared to less than one in three of those aged 61+.

Shock energy bills have been hitting the headlines over the past year. And our survey results show they continue to create the perfect emotional storm. A quarter of survey respondents said they found getting a shock energy bill ‘extremely stressful’, more so than meeting a partner’s parents or asking a person out!

Brits couldn't go electricity free

While the UK’s relationship with its energy suppliers is far from perfect, very few of us could face giving up the connection completely. Four in five Brits think they couldn’t go electricity-free for more than a week without getting bored.

Baby-boomers were most likely to say they couldn’t live without electricity. Almost a quarter of people in the UK aged 61 and over said they wouldn’t even dream of going electricity-free, compared to just 11% of 25 to 35-year-olds. This startling fact, combined with the growing popularity of electric cars, suggests the UK’s relationship with its energy providers looks set to last.

superhero powers - most desired energy superpower

We may be reluctant to cut ties with our energy suppliers, but what does our dream energy look like? By far the most popular superhero energy power was X-men mutant Storm’s ability to generate electricity. Almost one in three Brits said it was their dream superhero power, which isn’t too surprising, given that ‘low battery anxiety’ is an all too common problem.

Interestingly, men were more likely to pick Superman’s heat vision as their dream energy power. Superman’s heat generating strength was also most popular with Londoners. Ghost Rider’s ability to create fire was the least coveted – probably a good thing in reality!

Need saving from your energy supplier? Then Powershop’s combined gas and electricity tariffs might just be what you’re looking for. Our hassle-free energy plans give you competitively priced electricity and gas. You can even make extra savings via our Powerpacks!

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/energy-providers-partners-love-romance-relationships-research-survey-a8209986.html

Update

We’re always improving our service with new products, fuel options and new ways to make buying energy easierIn spring 2018, we launched Dual Fuel and introduced Powershop Lite, for customers who want to pay for their energy in a more traditional way. Some of our older blogs may not include all of these latest goodies – if in doubt our Questions page is always a good place to start.