Energy Suppliers, Why Switch?

by Kate on January 28, 2014

in Money

This Friday, thousands of households could be facing much higher energy bills, due to many tariffs from the UK’s biggest suppliers, coming to an end. If you are a customer of one of the big six energy providers, and your tariff is ending, you could be looking at, on average, a 13.7% increase in the cost of your bill. That’s because your provider will roll you onto a new “standard” tariff, and start charging you more. Scottish Power customers will be worse hit, and could face an increase of 25.18% or £248.87 a year.

Don’t let your energy supplier roll you onto a “standard” deal

Even if you aren’t about to be rolled onto a worse deal, it is still a good idea to check periodically, to see if you could get a better deal. Much like mobile phone tariffs, there are deals suited to usage types, so if your consumption has changed, perhaps due to a new heating system, or people moving in or out of the household, it is worth checking if you are still on the best tariff.

Some energy tariffs include loyalty card points or air miles, which can represent greater value if you are a collector.

Another reason to switch is because you want greener energy. A more ethical conscience can sometimes come at a slightly higher premium, although voting with your money is a good way to get companies to take note of your preference.

Switch tips

Dual deal
You can often get a better deal by going with the same supplier for both your gas and electricity, rather than choosing two separate companies.

Accuracy is important
When comparing new suppliers, it’s best to use the latest bill from your current supplier. This will give you a more accurate idea of what savings you could be making.

Go online and direct
Energy companies prefer customers who pay by direct debit, so it’s often cheaper if you choose this method of payment. Some suppliers also offer discounts for choosing an online account, so it pays to go paperless.

Watch out for cancellation fees
As with any contract, you could be charged for early cancellation, so check the fine print before making the switch.

Compare

Comparison sites are invaluable for checking how much you could save. The TotallyMoney tool is a quick hassle free option.

N.B When you switch energy provider through TotallyMoney, they will donate 100% of their commission to charity. That’s an average of £38 every time someone finds a cheaper deal and switches supplier through them. You don’t get a worse deal as a result. TotallyMoney’s energy comparison results are Ofgem monitored, meaning they are guaranteed to be exactly the same or better than those provided by all of the other major switching websites.

Less is more

Ultimately, the best way to save on your electricity and gas bills is to not use as much of it.

Eliminate drafts
Unless your home is brand spanking new, it’s likely to leak heat through doors, windows, floorboards, chimneys, and anywhere else that isn’t tightly sealed and well insulated. Make it your mission to plug all holes and seal all gaps. You’ll have to pump less heat into your home, creating future savings and making your family instantly more comfortable.

Habitually hit off
Get into the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room. The same goes for appliances, they use more energy than you think when on standby.

Gadgets
I recently heard about the Radiator Booster, it’s a product that sits on top of household radiators to maximise their heating efficiency. The Radiator Booster sucks up trapped heat from behind radiators and circulates it around the room. This can raise the temperature in a room by up to 3°C. According to its makers, the booster can save households an average of £140 per year; and costs just £0.30p per year to run. They say it recuperates its cost in just 8 to 10 weeks of use.

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