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Energy tariff exit fees are leaving households paying expensive fixed-rates, report finds

HOUSEHOLDS are stuck paying expensive fixed-rate energy tariffs because exit fees have increased by 345 per cent in the last three years, a report has found.

Around three million households are paying as much as £716 more than April’s reduced price cap under the tariffs, Warm This Winter (WTW) said.

In research published today, WTW reported that exit fees can cost £187.21, up from an average of £42.06 in 2021.

This means some customers will be unable to switch to a cheaper tariff because the exit fees would wipe out any potential savings.

WTW spokeswoman Fiona Waters said: “Yet again energy suppliers are letting customers down with many stuck in fixed rate deals they can’t get out of because of extortionate exit fees.  

“It’s Hobson’s choice for those who want the peace of mind of a fixed rate, but will probably end up worse off later in the year.

“It’s just ridiculous and unnecessary that billpayers have to navigate such a complex tariff system where they get ripped off at every level, from rising standing charges to profiteering gas companies, and still face bills that are 60 per cent higher than three years ago.”

Ms Waters called on the government to introduce long-term solutions, including a mass home insulation programme to bring down bills.

End Fuel Poverty Coalition co-ordinator Simon Francis said: “The energy industry is quick to promote the idea that switching will save you money, but the reality is that the small print could leave struggling customers out of pocket.

“Households who are suffering the most are often the ones looking for the most security through a fixed tariff, but we would urge them to only fix if they are absolutely certain it is the right thing to do.”


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