MILLIONS of households could save around £200 a year on their broadband by switching to a social tariff.

Despite take-up of social tariffs quadrupling since January 2022, Ofcom said their research showed just 220,000 (5.1 per cent) eligible households have signed up to these deals.

Ofcom along with Which? are now urging customers to act now to grab the ‘best kept secret in broadband’.

What is a social tariff?

Social tariffs, are available to an estimated 4.3 million households that receive one of a range of government benefits.

The packages offers superfast broadband speeds and a price freeze for the duration of the contract, for as little as £12 a month.

Social tariff broadband eligibility

According to Ofcom, if you or someone in your household claims Universal Credit, you could switch to any of the social tariffs available.

All major providers also include people on Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support.

Some providers might include additional benefits, like Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance.

The person receiving the benefit needs to be the main person on the contract.

How to apply for a social tariff?

First, check if your current provider offers a social tariff.

Most providers including BT, Sky and Virgin Media offer these tariffs.

Visit the Ofcom website to see all the available social tariffs.

You can apply for most tariffs online, or call your provider and ask to switch.

Ofcom said: "If your provider doesn’t offer a social tariff, you can switch to one that does. Your provider might let you leave your current contract without paying a penalty fee."

Awareness of discounted tariffs remains low

Ofcom said awareness of these deals remains low, as more than half of eligible households, 52%, continue to be unaware of their existence during the cost-of-living crisis.

The communications regulator said they were concerned broadband providers aren’t being upfront with millions of customers about how to find and sign up to these packages.

Ofcom's Group Director, Network and Communications, Lindsey Fussell, said: "Hundreds of thousands of customers are now benefitting from the huge savings that can be made from securing a social tariff. 

"But millions are still missing out on superfast speeds for super low prices – with many not aware they even exist.

"We’re urging anyone who thinks they could be eligible for a discount deal to contact their provider today and potentially save hundreds of pounds.

"Providers should also do much more to help these customers find and access these deals, at a time when these savings could make a massive difference."

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Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, Rocio Concha, added: "With millions of households across the country struggling to make ends meet, it's outrageous that some providers continue to conceal their social tariffs from customers.

"Broadband providers need to step up their efforts to promote their social tariffs to low-income consumers and ensure people aren't missing out unnecessarily.

"They must also make sure customers do not have to pay any Early Termination Charges to move to another firm’s social tariff.

"We'd strongly encourage anyone who thinks they could be eligible for a social tariff to get in touch with their provider as soon as possible - as switching to these discounted rates could halve their bills overnight."

Your Money Matters

Your Money Matters is a campaign launched by us and our sister titles across Newsquest to help you overcome the surge in the cost of living.

This year has seen a whole host of household price increases — from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices — costing your family hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year.

We’re making it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost-of-living crisis is having on our readers.

The worldwide energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine invasion, the financial impact of the Covid pandemic, record inflation figures and a surge in the cost of goods, fuel and travel means we will all feel the pinch.

Through our newspaper, we want to do what we can to help make your cash go further because we know your money matters.