BILLS FALL TO LOWEST LEVEL FOR THREE YEARS FOR HOUSEHOLDS WHO SWITCH

Published: 12/01/2021
  • Households could save £494 if they switch to the cheapest suppliers for all bills
  • Average household bills cost £2,527 in 2020 – the cheapest annual figure since 2017
  • Energy bills declined the most, typically costing £1,631, dropping £171 from 2019
  • Londoners pay £646 more for their bills than households in South West England

5 January 2021 – Households could save hundreds on their household bills with average annual costs falling by £174 during the past year, according to new data from comparethemarket.com.

The new research which analyses the cost of energy, home, and motor insurance since 2015, based on comparethemarket.com proprietary switching data, shows significantly cheaper bills were available for households across the country over the course of 2020. A typical household spent £2,527 on these three services over the past year – falling from £2,702 in 2019. Average household bills are now at their cheapest since 2017, relieving some of the financial pressure that households have been under because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cost of energy has accounted for almost all of the past year’s decline in bills, dropping by £171 over the past twelve months. The average household energy bill now stands at £1,631, down from £1,803 in 2019. This significant drop reverses the steadily rising cost of energy bills seen over the last few years. The fall in average energy bills in 2020 is likely due to suppliers passing on some of the savings from the drop in wholesale energy prices, mainly down to reduced demand for energy overall during the two national lockdowns, despite more people staying at home.

In contrast to energy bills, the cost of both motor and home insurance saw smaller changes in 2020. The average cost of motor insurance dipped by £10 compared to 2019 and now stands at £724, but this is still the lowest cost since 2016.

Unlike the other household bills, the average cost of home insurance has steadily grown to £172 a year. Although only a £7 rise from 2019, it represents the fifth continuous year of increasing average bills since 2015, when the typical cost of home insurance was just £131.

Year Energy Home insurance Car insurance Total
2015 £1,289 £131 £611 £2,032
2016 £1,394 £135 £693 £2,222
2017 £1,625 £142 £738 £2,505
2018 £1,706 £160 £728 £2,595
2019 £1,803 £165 £734 £2,702
2020 £1,631 £172 £724 £2,527


On a regional basis, Londoners are paying substantially more than other areas more for their annual household bills. People living in Greater London pay an average of £2,890 – more than £350 above the national average. The cheapest region for household bills is South West England, where people spend an average of £2,244 on bills annually.  

Switching to the cheapest deals on the market for all three of these bills could save households a significant £494 per year. This includes a £367 saving on energy bills, a £21 saving on home insurance, and a £105 saving on car insurance. Regionally, Londoners could cut their bills the most, saving £580 by shopping around for the cheapest deals. Online tools such as comparethemarket’s Bills Calculator can give an estimate of the average cost of household bills for similar homes in the area.

Ursula Gibbs, Director at comparethemarket.com, said:

“The fall in annual bills is a rare piece of good news following a bruising twelve months for household finances. However, our Household Financial Confidence Tracker shows that nearly a fifth of UK households think they will struggle to meet the demands of their household bills in the coming weeks. Switching to a cheaper deal could be key to helping those who have seen hits to their income or further strain placed on their finances as a result of the pandemic.

“Shopping around for the cheapest deals on household bills is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save money for households with shrinking budgets. In particular, although more people are staying at home,  the lockdowns actually resulted in a fall in the average cost of energy so it could be a good time to lock in some of the most affordable fixed rate deals we’ve seen in years.”

ENDS   

Notes to editors:

All data sourced from comparethemarket.com

2020 Average Cost - Regional table:

Region name Energy Home Car Total
East Anglia £1,682 £186 £667 £2,535
East Midlands £1,576 £164 £685 £2,425
Greater London £1,544 £231 £1,115 £2,890
North East £1,569 £142 £684 £2,394
North West £1,562 £163 £839 £2,564
Scotland £1,679 £169 £579 £2,427
South East £1,698 £190 £646 £2,533
South West £1,533 £162 £549 £2,244
Wales £1,697 £162 £608 £2,466
West Midlands £1,790 £159 £816 £2,765
Yorkshire and the Humber £1,613 £167 £778 £2,557
Average £1,631 £172 £724 £2,527

 

About comparethemarket.com 

comparethemarket.com was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past 15 years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites. 

comparethemarket.com provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel, and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as credit cards and loans. 

comparethemarket.com actively works with its brand partners to help provide great services to customers. 

comparethemarket.com is a trading name of Compare The Market Limited. Compare The Market Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance distribution (FRN: 778488) and is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (FRN: 911617) for the provision of payment services.