With gas and energy bills spiralling out of control for many people, the need to switch suppliers has never been so important.
Whilst the message has been ringing out clear, it may lie behind a hazy smokescreen for elderly people; they may not understand the importance or simply shy away out of fear they will be cut off. Yet this is often the very section of society who are struggling the most to keep warm – and could gain from significantly lowered energy bills, if they change supplier.
The advantage of changing supplier is that you could find yourself on a better and much cheaper deal, whilst gaining more affordable warmth.
Family and friends can do a lot to help by supporting elderly relatives, friends and neighbours to make the switch and save money.
The Energy Saving Trust has recommended this approach for those who are less confident in handling these type of matters and may feel nervous of changing suppliers or be unaware of the potential savings.
Indeed, the energy regulator, Ofgem, has said that 88% of energy customers had not switched in the past year – a profound figure.
Another study has already revealed that a staggering one million older customers receive less than the best service from energy firms.
The Energy Ombudsman and Age UK have said that many people over 65 simply don’t want to make a fuss. Yet this is the problem, and even more so after being given a poor service.
However, the process of switching is relatively straightforward, as backed up by the Citizens Advice Bureau, saying that now is the time to take advantage of better deals on offer – before the winter cold sets in and heating bills start to rise with extra usage.
The other side to the coin is that they don’t rise due to extra usage because older people struggling to make ends meet simply shiver and stay cold instead; this can then lead to health deterioration and more cost.
It’s interesting that this call to help the elderly has come on the back of the banking sector being told to help people switch between current accounts.
With the same fear of endless expensive phone calls to unhelpful call centres, becoming exasperated from wasting time and energy, is it surprising that many people feel too daunted by the prospect of hassle? They probably have little enthusiasm, or energy, to go through the switching process and need our support.
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