Consumers urged to switch broadband and energy providers to save £300 a year

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Which? is urging UK households to consider switching broadband and energy providers this September, as new research reveals they could save up almost  £300 a year on their bills. 

This autumn, many consumers will be looking to get their finances in order, especially with the energy price cap level set to rise and the furlough scheme ending in less than a month. 

Which? found that consumers who review their broadband and energy bills could switch to avoid overpaying by around £90 and £200 a year respectively. 

The consumer watchdog found the average monthly bill for UK broadband customers is £33.77. However, customers could save £89 a year if they switched to a superfast introductory deal which cost, on average, £26.34 a month. 

Which? found Sky broadband customers pay £37.32 a month, on average, but could save £131.76 a year if they switched to an introductory deal. On average BT customers pay £36.30 a month and could save £119.52, while TalkTalk customers pay £28.98 a month and could save £31.86 a year. 

Virgin Media customers could save the most by switching, as they have the highest average monthly bill out of the big four providers at £41.68. Virgin Media only supplies fibre broadband and more of its customers will be accessing ultrafast speeds. However, with the average cost of introductory deals for ultrafast broadband at £29.34, customers who switch could save £143.64 a year. 

Virgin Media customers should also consider switching providers for better connection and service. The broadband provider finished 13th out of 14 providers ranked in Which?’s broadband satisfaction survey with a low customer score of 53 per cent, receiving poor ratings for connection reliability, customer service and value for money. 

Recent Ofcom figures also revealed Virgin Media was the most complained about broadband provider in the first three months of 2021. Virgin Media told Which? that since Ofcom collected its data it has made a number of improvements to its customer service and has seen complaints decrease significantly. 

Consumers should also consider switching energy tariffs this September ahead of the energy price cap rising to £1,277 in October, which will see bills increase by £139 for 11 million direct debit customers on default tariffs using a medium amount of gas and electricity.  

While there is a dwindling number of cheap energy deals on the market, Which? analysis found customers could save £207 compared to the new price cap level, if they switch to the cheapest fixed tariff available at £1,070. 

Customers looking for cheaper energy deals can compare deals with Which? Switch, a transparent and impartial way to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity supplier for you. It  displays all available tariffs for providers, big and small, even if Which? doesn’t currently have a commercial switching agreement with them. 

Many consumers may be put off switching broadband or energy providers as they believe the process can be a hassle, but  Which? research found two-thirds of broadband (66%) and four in five (86%) energy customers found it easy. 

Says Lisa Barber, Which? Home Products and Services Editor: 

“Consumers should not have to pay more than they need to for essential services such as broadband and energy, and with many households facing an energy bill hike due to the price cap change, now is the ideal time to consider switching these services. 

“Our research shows switching could result in savings of £300 a year, and it can be a straightforward process if you use a price comparison website to find the cheapest deals. Anyone looking to save money this autumn should not hesitate.”

See below potential savings for customers with the big four providers: 

Broadband Provider

Average monthly bill

Savings PA

BT

£36.30

£119.52

Sky

£37.32

£131.76

TalkTalk

£28.98

£31.68

Virgin Media

£41.68 (ultrafast)*

£143.64 (ultrafast)*

*As Virgin Media offers speeds from 50Mbps to 1000 Mbps Which? compared its average tariff against the average cost of introductory deals for ultrafast broadband. 

 
Chris Price
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