Vulnerable energy customers could be £101 worse off by choosing ‘best buy’ energy deals from comparison sites, according to new research from energy auto-switching company Migrate.
The company analysed the top 20 deals currently available and found that only three were from suppliers who are part of the warm home discount (WHD) scheme, which provides around two million low-income and vulnerable customers with a one-off £140 discount on electricity bills during the winter – providing their supplier subscribes to the scheme. Only one of the top ten tariffs promoted as ‘cheapest’ was from a provider offering the discount.
Analysing the deals Migrate (which said it gives customers the option to only see tariffs from, or switch to, WHD suppliers) said vulnerable households could over pay by £101 per year, versus opting for a more expensive tariff from a supplier who offered the discount.
George Chalmers, chief executive of Migrate, said “It’s well known that people rarely look past the first few deals presented to them when it comes time to choose an energy tariff, as naturally they are usually looking to save the most money possible.
“…The problem is that warm home discount is not factored into the price savings shown on comparison websites, meaning that the ‘illustrative’ savings figure is not accurate and could even be considered misleading for those that qualify for other discounts.
“…In our research we found just one of the ‘big four’ energy comparison services give customers the option to filter by warm home discount.”