More than half of people in the West Midlands say energy bills are their biggest financial worry, according to research from award winning1 Co-operative Energy, Britain’s newest energy supplier.
The survey2 revealed 55.7% of householders in the West Midlands said finding cash for electricity and gas bills is their greatest financial headache, surpassing accommodation and shopping bills.
Warwick-based Co-operative Energy’s Nigel Mason said: “It doesn’t come as a big surprise that people are struggling to budget for their energy bills. Thanks to price hikes and confusing tariffs from the Big Six energy providers, consumers are under more pressure than ever.”
The survey also highlighted that 83.4% of people want to ban in-home and doorstop selling of energy tariffs, a feeling shared by Co-operative Energy’s 20,000th customer Veronique Welch.
Veronique, aged 56, signed up after becoming fed up with the aggressive sales techniques and confusing tariffs used by her previous energy provider.
She moved into a cottage in Newbold on Stour, near Stratford, in August last year and inherited a tariff from one of the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers.
Veronique saw an article about Co-operative Energy, which has a single, easy-to-understand tariff and a commitment to renewable energy, and decided to take a look.
She said: “I wanted to change and like most people I’m on a tight budget. I find all the various tariffs are impossible to compare as they are assessed differently. The big energy firm’s sales staff I spoke to also had a rather high-handed attitude and sold aggressively.
“I have to say Co-operative Energy is closer to my heart with their ethos. The whole offering appealed to me and I very much appreciate their environmental credentials too.”
Veronique works at a not-for-profit organisation as an independent living advisor for elderly and disabled people and understands the pressure they are under when it comes to heating the home.
“I’m in a unique position to be able to judge the worries that they face when it comes to energy bills," she said.
“It can be confusing for them, they may be intimidated by comparing the tariffs and a lot don’t have access to the internet. I think Co-operative Energy would appeal to them enormously because it’s so straightforward.”
To get its message across to the West Midlands public, Co-operative Energy is advertising in the Central TV region for three weeks from 21 March, highlighting the savings of up to £200 per annum3 available to customers of British Gas and npower, the dominant suppliers in the region.
1Which? Consumer Action Award 2011, Market Gravity Corporate Entrepreneur Award 2011, Consumer Moneyfacts Award 2012, Sunday Times Top 25 Best Places to Work 2011 and 2012.
2Independent research conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged between 18-65 in the UK, including 447 in the Midlands. Research by YouSayPay conducted in January 2012.
3£207 saving on British Gas, £192 on nPower, when using Standard Tariffs for dual fuel usage of UK average consumption, paying quarterly on receipt of bill in the West Midlands. Includes £50 promotional offer for new customers before 31st March 2012.