Consumers have spent a staggering £7bn more than they should have done on energy over the last three years, one supplier has claimed.

First Utility, a leading energy company, said remaining on more expensive existing tariffs with one of the Big Six suppliers has led to households losing an average of £800 each.

The company compared how much people on the energy giants’ standard variable tariffs would have spent over the period with how much they could have spent if they had switched to a cheaper supplier and tariff plan.

First Utility said it used information from switching site Energy Helpline and a report by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The supplier provides gas and electricity services but is not one of the Big Six of British Gas, Npower, Scottish Power, EDF, E.On and SSE.

Many people are having to cut back on heating just to get by.

First Utility claim that many customers have no idea that they could save money “in part thanks to the Big Six energy suppliers doing their best to keep their most loyal customers in the dark about savings and alternative tariffs”.

It said that a large part of the problem came from customers only receiving bills every quarter.

Ed Kamm, UK managing director of First Utility, said: “The Big Six have been exploiting customers’ loyalty for too long and it has to end”.

“The brutal truth, hidden away in the CMA report, proves that the Big Six have been relying on their standard variable tariff customers for years to bolster their profits.”

“We have to see real change in 2017, with the onus on helping those who have been kept on bad deals for years and years.”

MPs will be putting forward a motion on energy charges to the House of Commons in a debate in which a cross-party group will demand measures to protect consumers by controlling the market.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said the government will always act whenever markets are failing their customers.

It came just as a government committee released a report that says climate policies have not been to blame for higher bills.

A report issued by the Committee on Climate Change said that the efficiencies that have resulted from the new green policies have “saved consumers, on average, as much as they have cost”.

A spokesperson for the Business and Energy Department said: “This report suggests recent price rises announced by energy suppliers cannot be explained by policy costs alone”.

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