Over 93,000 households will be automatically switched onto expensive ‘default’ tariffs in the last quarter of 2018 if people choose not to act. In October, November and December 2018, there are 130 fixed energy tariffs coming to an end, according to new research by comparethemarket.com, with a total cost of £18.95 million hitting those households affected.

Analysis of the fixed tariffs ending during these months found that the average increase to energy bills is expected to be £202 per household.Comparethemarket.com data reveals that if customers do not look to switch when their fixed tariff ends, energy companies are set to benefit from a huge ‘inertia windfall’.

Month Total cost to consumers Est. number of customers affected Average increase Number of tariffs ending
October £12,005,778 59,637 £201.31 56
November £4,296,842 20,531 £209.29 32
December £2,656,256 13,397 £198.28 42
Total £18,958,876 93,564 £202.63 130

The biggest hikes in energy costs will impact households whose tariffs end in November, where the average annual energy bill increase will be £209. However, October saw the greatest number of customers affected, with nearly 60,000 households expected to have been moved on to the more expensive ‘default’ tariffs if they did not switch, at a combined cost of more than £12 million.

Peter Earl, Head of Energy at comparethemarket.com, said “Every month, thousands of people are moved unwittingly onto more expensive default tariffs which can come at a huge annual cost. The business model of most energy companies fundamentally punishes those that stay loyal to their provider. The easiest way to beat the system is to switch provider and save hundreds of pounds in the process.”

“In the past few weeks, the insurance industry has come under growing scrutiny around the loyalty penalties that consumers face and the model that relies on inertia. The same level of scrutiny should equally be applied to the energy market where the exact same approach is taken to the detriment of consumers.”