The April Loyalty Tax

Our research has found that 102 fixed energy contracts came to an end on the 30th of April. 

This means that hundreds of thousands of people have today rolled on to their supplier’s default tariff – the most expensive deal.

This is an average jump in price of £221.

BBC Breakfast discussed our findings this morning on their programme:

BBC Breakfast featured Look After My Bills research

 

Our co-founder Henry discussing how these price rises affect loyal customers

Our research was also covered by the BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live.

This is a prime example of ‘the loyalty penalty’. You are offered a competitive price as a new customer but get whacked with a price hike after your contract is up.

Why is April particularly bad?

There are a few reasons why the loyalty tax is particularly well, taxing this April.

1. Many tariffs are ending

Firstly, the number of contracts which expired on the 30th of April is particularly high.

In fact, this is the highest so far for 2019.

Month (2019) January February March April
Expiring deals 86 52 81 102

2.  A lot of households are affected

Big Six suppliers British Gas, EDF, npower and Scottish Power all have tariffs ending.

We have estimated hundreds of thousands of people will be on these tariffs.

3. Price rises

price rises
Energy price rises

Earlier this month, Ofgem raised the maximum limit at which an energy company can set their standard tariff.

This is known as the energy price cap, a government scheme to try and safeguard people overpaying on their energy bills.

In January, it was up to £1137 and since April 1st it has been raised to £1254.

Unfortunately, many suppliers do not see this as an absolute limit but rather a target to aim for.

Just this month, we have found 22 suppliers who raised their standard tariff to just a few pounds away from the cap.

Therefore alongside a cheap deal ending, people will encounter a price rise from your supplier.

The biggest rise comes from Shell Energy, a huge £377 more expensive.

The top 10 biggest price jumps

Supplier

Tariff Name

Fixed deal

Default tariff

Increase (£)

Increase (%)

Shell Energy

First Fixed April 2019 v2 – Paperless

£876.91

£1254

377.09

43%

Shell Energy

First Fixed April 2019 v2

£900.91

£1254

353.09

39%

Flow Energy

Daffodil April 2019

£911.34

£1254

342.66

38%

Flow Energy

Daffodil April 2019 Green – Paperless

£911.34

£1254

342.66

38%

Shell Energy

First Fixed April 2019 – Paperless

£915.39

£1254

338.61

37%

Shell Energy

Smart First April 2019 Online

£916.49

£1254

337.51

37%

ScottishPower

Super Saver April 2019

£926.11

£1254

327.89

35%

npower

Online Energy Fix April 2019

£931.32

£1254

322.68

35%

British Gas

All Online Apr 2019

£931.86

£1254

322.14

35%

Shell Energy

First Fixed April 2019

£939.39

£1254

314.61

33%

Click here to see our full list of deals expiring in April

The benefits of auto-switching

It makes little sense to us that a small group of people get a good deal while most people pay extortionate rates for their energy.

Unfortunately, we know that the vast majority are not confident switchers and end up paying over the odds on their bills as a result.

And even if you switch once, you can’t be expected to keep on top of it every 12 months for every contract and every utility (broadband, TV, insurance) you use.

With auto-switching, what we try our best to overcome all the main bugbears people have with saving on their energy bills.

We reward loyalty with our service. We switch you every year to a fair deal so you never have to worry about paying the loyalty penalty.

If you want to give auto-switching a go, our sign-up form is just below: