Millions of Brits more loyal to their energy provider than previous long-term partners

Millions of Brits more loyal to their energy provider than previous long-term partners

• UK adults claim they have found it harder to ‘break up’ with their energy provider than end a personal relationship

• Almost one in five claim the current relationship with their energy supplier is ‘complicated’

Millions of Brits claim they have found it harder to ‘break up’ with their energy provider than end a personal relationship, a new study has found.

A poll of 2,000 adults – commissioned by comparethemarket.com – revealed more than one in 10 adults have found it more difficult to leave their energy supplier than their most recent partner. The research surprisingly also found that two in five are more committed to their energy provider than their partners, having been with their supplier for more years than their longest relationship.

Interestingly, the results also reveal that long-term loyalty to a romantic partner is often mirrored by long-term loyalty to an energy supplier too. Those adults polled in the longest personal relationships, together 20 years or more, were with their energy suppliers for the longest period of time (on average 4.9 years).

The news comes as 31 energy tariffs are due to come to an end this month, meaning that over 96,000 customers will be hit with an average bill increase of roughly £200 – a total cost of over £19 million to the consumers affected.

In contrast, Brits in relationships for less than a month tend to flit between their energy providers too, staying with energy providers for the just over 18 months (1.7 years) on average. Communication issues appear to be the biggest problem for this group, with the most common response for breaking up with their supplier being a ‘lack of trust’ and feeling as though they were ‘being ripped off’ (18%).

On average, the insights found that Brits have typically been with their energy supplier for four years. The same couldn’t be said for romantic relationships, however, with one in five (21.3%) of the adults polled stating that they had never had a relationship which exceeded four years.

The most common reason for break ups with loved ones is ‘growing apart’ (24%), followed by ‘infidelity’ (14%). Others have ended it for developing feelings for someone else (9%), with over one in 10 (12%) blaming the end of their relationship on the fact that they were ‘going in different directions’.

Interestingly, the reasons for relationship failures with energy providers weren’t too dissimilar. Over half of the adults polled, broke up with their supplier because they found ‘a better deal with someone else’ (53%).

When looking at how people are choosing to break up with their romantic partners or energy suppliers, it is clear that the digital breakup is on the rise. This is particularly true for the younger generations, with one in five (21%) of the 18-24 year olds polled stating that they had broken up with a partner via text or WhatsApp, and a further one in five (19%) breaking up with their partner over the phone.

Looking at energy, it appears that breaking up over the phone is the most popular method for Brits, with almost four in 10 (38%) choosing to end their provider relationship in this way.

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Peter Earl

Head of Energy

comparethemarket.com

 “Whilst some Brits might find themselves feeling loved-up this week as they celebrate Valentine’s Day, these findings clearly demonstrate that people won’t put up with a partner that doesn’t understand their needs, or stay in relationships if there is a lack of trust. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for their relationship with their energy suppliers – with a number of Brits choosing to stick it out in spite of their supplier’s shortcomings.

With more than 70 tariffs coming to an end this month and next, I’d encourage all consumers to consider the quality of the relationship and value for money with their current energy provider and to take a moment to assess whether it’s time to start afresh with a new one.”

In a bid to help consumers end their relationship with their current supplier and move on to a new energy partner, comparethemarket.com has developed a step by step guide to help individuals through the process of this break up online, as well as a script for when it’s time to make the phone call that ends it all.

For more information and to view a copy of the guide, visit https://www.comparethemarket.com/energy/information/breaking-up-with-your-energy-provider/