Only 28% Of Energy Bill Payers Are Clear on What They Are Paying Providers For

Women adjusting a heating thermostat

New report finds evidence of almost half (46%) of respondents do not feel loyal to their current provider. In addition, 37% of customers are looking to their provider to give advice on managing their energy as cost-of-living crisis deepens.

As energy prices reach a 40-year record high, a new survey has asked over 1,500 UK bill payers what they want – and how they feel – about their energy providers. The results, published today in ‘The Big Switch Off’ report, commissioned by experience design consultancy ELSE, found a significant gap in customer loyalty and understanding about energy bills.

Headlines from the report include:

  • Poor transparency is damaging loyalty: Just 28% are clear on what they are actually paying their energy provider for.
  • There is a widespread loyalty crisis: Almost half (46%) of bill payers do not feel loyal to their current provider.
  • Customers left in the dark: Over a third (37%) said they want more practical advice on how to manage their energy usage.
  • Sustainability concerns grow: Over half (51%) want their provider to articulate their plans to lessen their impact on the climate.
  • Price not only pinch point: Only 21% of people stated affordability as the reason they were loyal to their energy supplier, suggesting other factors – such as being supported to manage usage – are also at play.

In light of the findings, the report also supplies a number of strategies energy providers could leverage in order to regain the trust of consumers.

To boost customer loyalty, energy companies will need to provide:

1. More details on changes to bills:

Over a third (34%) stated that being kept informed of price hikes encouraged them to stay with their provider, while 20% said a lack of explanation about their bill would encourage them to switch.

2. More details on their energy usage

People don’t just want to know how much they’re being charged, but what they’re being charged for; less than a third (28%) of UK bill payers are clear on what they are paying for.

3. More details on environmental footprint

Public awareness of climate change is affecting customer loyalty. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) cite that using or intending to use sustainable energy as reasons they are loyal to their providers. In addition almost a third (29%) want their energy provider to advise them on how to be more sustainable with their household energy usage.

Some of the strategies the report discusses to help energy suppliers improve customer loyalty include improving energy literacy and developing incentive and reward schemes, highlighting efficiency and sustainability to keep customers engaged long-term.

Dave Dunlop, Partner & Chief Design Officer, ELSE commented: 

“Cultivating and maintaining customer loyalty is mission critical for energy companies. As the energy cap is expected to alter in October, there’s never been a better time to engage with customers to inform them of why they are experiencing changes in their prices. As the power still remains with bill payers to decide what is best for their household, building customer loyalty should be energy companies’ top priority.”

Download the full report here.

About ELSE

ELSE is a strategic design consultancy that helps businesses create innovative and effective products and services. From the global hub of fintech to the tea farms in Kenya, we work wherever people, brands and technology come together.

Since launching over 10 years ago we’ve worked with over 70 clients on over 300 experience design projects which span over 15 countries and 6 continents. We help business leaders with innovation and digital transformation projects — from large organisations, such as O2, UBS and Nivea, to lean start-ups, including WeFarm, 7bridges and Improbable.

We’re a lean team of experienced practitioners who are interested in the application of behavioural science through design to create positive changes in behaviour – whether that is getting someone to engage with their finances or thinking about their future health – we think big, we start small and we scale fast.

Visit to find out more about our shorter work week, our R&D programme, and our work and insights.

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