Over a quarter of all households (28 per cent) are unaware whether they are on “rip-off” standard variable tariffs, according to a new poll commissioned by supplier Bulb.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that older people tend to be less engaged with the energy market, the survey also found young people are more likely to be unsure about what tariff they are on.

More than half of all 18 to 24-year-olds who participated in the poll (53 per cent) said they didn’t know if their household was on a standard variable tariff (SVT). The figure for 25 to 34-year-olds was 29 per cent.

By comparison, just 16 per cent of 55 to 74-year-olds gave the same response.

There was further evidence of disengagement among young people elsewhere in the survey. Of respondents aged 44 and under, 29 per cent said they were not on an SVT, compared to 52 per cent for those aged 45 and above.

The poll of more than 2,000 people in the UK was conducted by Walnut Unlimited (formerly ICM) over several days in December.

The responses suggest some households may be confused over whether they or not they have really switched tariffs, as 44 per cent of participants said they had switched in 2017 even though official statistics from Energy UK put the figure at just 22 per cent. More than half (55 per cent) claimed to have switched in the last two years.

Around one in twenty (6 per cent) were unable to name their energy supplier.

Bulb co-founder Hayden Wood, said: “Millions of families aren’t getting the cheap energy deals they deserve because of the way the big six confuse their customers.

“Complicated tariffs and hard-to-understand bills mean 28 per cent of all households don’t know whether they’re being ripped off or not. I’m particularly concerned that younger generations appear to be the most affected.

“This just shows why the government must act to introduce a price cap as soon as possible to help families who are currently being taken advantage of by the big six.”