The top ten most expensive energy deals in the country revealed for the first time
Four of the Big Six (Npower, Scottish Power, SSE and EDF) feature
2.3 million people are on these tariffs paying as much as £361 more for their energy than the cheapest deal on the market

Today (20th November) consumer collective TheBigDeal.com can reveal for the very first time the ten most expensive energy tariffs in the country:

  • Four of the Big Six (Npower, Scottish Power, SSE and EDF) have their standard tariffs in the top ten.
  • 2.3 million people are on these top ten worst tariffs in the country paying as much as £361 more for their energy than the cheapest deal on the market.
  • Scottish-based energy suppliers – SSE, Scottish Power and Spark Energy – fare particularly poorly, accounting for four of the ten worst tariffs.
  • The Co-operative has the very worst tariff in the country, which costs £361 more a year than the cheapest tariff on the market (£823 from Avro Energy).
  • All the tariffs require the customer to pay by cash or cheque, rather than monthly direct debit, which is often significantly cheaper.
  • These companies mislead customers by describing these tariffs in terms like “standard” (used by four out of the ten). TheBigDeal.com calls on the Government and regulator to force the Big Six to rename these tariffs as “emergency tariffs”.

Edward Molyneux, head of research at consumer collective TheBigDeal.com, said:

“You hear so much about the very best deals in the country, but never the worst. For the very first time we have pulled together not the best buys but the worst buys.

“This new research shows some of the outrageously high prices people are paying for their gas and electricity in the country. It’s little surprise the Big Six feature heavily. Half of the ten worst deals in the country are from the Big Six which means millions of people are on the very worst deals out there. What’s worse is that the Big Six call these deals “standard” which hugely misleading.

“The Government and regulator should force the Big Six to rename these tariffs as “emergency tariffs” to encourage people who are on them to act and get off them as soon as possible.

“If you’re on these tariffs you are being taken for one of the biggest rides in the country. We urge you to switch as soon as possible.”

The top ten worst tariffs in full:

Rank

Deal

Fixed or Variable

Payment method

Price

1

Co-op Pioneer Variable Quarterly Billing

Variable

Cash or cheque

£1,184

2

Spark Energy – Tenant Saver

Variable

Cash or cheque

£1,181

3

Npower – Standard

Variable

Cash or cheque

£1,172

4

Scottish Power – Standard

Variable

Cash or cheque

£1,161

=5

SSE / M&S Standard paper billing

Variable

Cash or cheque

£1,147

=5

SSE – 2 year Fix & Shop v2 paper billing

Fixed

Cash or cheque

£1,147

7

Green Star Energy – Green Saver Fixed 12M 1611 Paper Billing

Fixed

Cash or cheque

£1,144

=8

Green Star Energy – Rate Saver 24 Month Fixed 1611 Paper Bill

Fixed

Cash or cheque

£1,139

=8

EDF – Standard (Variable)

Variable

Cash or cheque

£1,139

10

Utility Warehouse – Value

Variable

Cash or cheque

£1,138

Correct as of 18th November. All prices averaged across all 14 electricity regions and based on Ofgem medium consumption (12500 kWh for Gas and 3100 kWh for Electricity).

Prepayment meter tariffs are not included as they are only available to those with a “prepayment meter.”

For further information contact Henry de Zoete at henry(at)thebigdeal(dot)com or Edward Molyneux at edward(at)thebigdeal(dot)com.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Notes on the research

All tariffs in this research are available across England, Scotland and Wales.

We have only considered tariffs for standard credit meters, which cover roughly 80% of meters in Great Britain. Prepayment meter tariffs are not included as they are only available to those with a “prepayment meter.”

For the purposes of this analysis we have not included the companies Utilita and Ebico. This is because both companies offer products that are not comparable to others on the market. Utilita are a “pay as you go” prepayment supplier. Ebico offers a no standing charge tariff, meaning that it is only good for very low energy users.  We have also not considered “paperless” billing versions of tariffs that also offer a paper billing option.

Methodology for 2.3 million households

Important statistics

Calculation

Using these statistics we can calculate roughly how many households are on the standard variable tariffs for EDF, SSE, Scottish Power and Npower. We took the company’s market share and calculating the number of customers with the company from the 28 million households in the UK.

We know that 26% of customers pay their bills by credit (cash or cheque) so we calculate 26% of the customer numbers.

Finally, we took the amount of customers known to be on the standard variable tariff according to The Sun article to calculate the final number of customers. The results of the calculations can be seen in the table below:

Company

Market share (Ofgem)

Number of customers based on 28 million total UK  households

Number of customers paying on RoB based on 26% paying by cash or cheque

Percentage of customers on standard variable tariff (The Sun)

Number of customers on the standard variable tariff paying by receipt of bill

EDF

12%

3.36 million

873,600

58%

506,688

Npower

10%

2.8 million

728,000

65%

473,200

Scottish Power

11%

3.08 million

800,800

48%

384,384

SSE

15%

4.2 million

1.092 million

88%

960,960

2.3 million

About TheBigDeal.com

TheBigDeal.com is a consumer collective focused on reducing people’s energy bills. We bring together hundreds of thousands of consumers and use our collective buying power to create exclusive deals.

Launched in March 2014, we now have over 200,000 members and continue to grow. 62% of our members have never or hardly ever switched before – these are the very people who have been let down by the energy market for too long. Moreover, 60% of our members are over the age of 55 and 30% over the age of 65. We have saved the British public over £15 million since we launched.

TheBigDeal.com is a start-up business and charges a commission to energy companies. Unlike price comparison websites we are 100% transparent and publish the exact amount of our commission. For our current switch that is £40 for a dual fuel (both gas and electricity) switch. This compares to £50 to £100 for the main price comparison websites.


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