New research has shown that over £863m of taxpayer’s money is being spent with ‘big six’ energy suppliers as local authorities appear reluctant to switch to smaller suppliers.
The news has come because of a Freedom of Interest request by challenger provider Bulb which has shown that nine out of ten councils around the country are still customers of one of the ‘big six’. There has been a recent push from councils in trying to get constituents to switch to smaller and greener energy suppliers, but it appears that many local authorities have not been practising what they preach. It would appear however that despite the poor example being by local authorities, households have been listening, with 20% now having changed to one of the smaller energy companies.
Charity Citizens UK stressed the important that councils shop around to make sure the taxpayer is not paying more than necessary.
Caitlin Burbridge, a community organiser with Citizens UK, said: “Councils have a responsibility to seek the best value for money for their residents, and spending on energy should be no different.
“With many smaller suppliers offering cheaper tariffs, and often green energy, councils should look to shop around rather than continue to stick with the Big Six.”
Out of the 408 councils contacted by Bulb, only 273 responded with their energy spending figures. The numbers show a huge disparity in the amount constituents are forking out for their council’s energy. In Milton Keynes residents were spending out as much as £83.32 typically per year for the local authority’s energy bill. Residents in Portsmouth however were spending an almost negligible £4.99.
The latest research is likely to raise a few eyebrows from environmental campaigners and constituents alike. Local councils and the government have for some time been stressing the need for households to shop around for cheaper deals as well as well as pushing for the ever-increasing importance of going green. Many independent energy supplies, such as Bulb offer both competitive deals and renewable energy tariffs and the latest findings could potentially spur some local authorities into action to consider switching to more independent suppliers.
Recent customer satisfaction surveys have shown a massive shift in the attitudes that people are taking towards the larger energy suppliers. The ‘big six’ have been slowly losing their market share due to the introduction of smaller more agile energy companies who are able to offer competitive prices, more green energy tariffs and better quality customer service.
If you think that you might be paying too much for your energy and want to see what else is available check out our handy comparison tool to see what deals are available in your area.