You have probably heard the cry, issued regularly by various energy companies, imploring you to consider switching energy suppliers.
As an industry, they have been united in making efforts to make it easier for consumers to switch suppliers, perhaps hoping that once a customer has made the change to their company they will never look back and certainly never change supplier again.
The fact is, though, that only about 20% of us ever compare energy prices or switch supplier. Yet the price of a unit of electricity can vary by about 5p per unit and the price of a unit of gas can vary by at least 2p per unit too. Those amounts sound piffling and hardly worth the cost of turning on your laptop, but over the course of a year, changing energy suppliers to the ones offering the cheapest tariffs can save a first-time changer around £300, every year. Even if you have changed supplier before, you can still expect to save up to £50 per year. If you could save that much on your car insurance by switching insurer you’d do it, surely?
Anyway, that’s why you should compare energy prices and switch supplier. How to switch supplier once you’ve decided to do so is nice and easy.
Another supplier could offer you a better deal if you use a lot of energy, whilst a different supplier could offer you a better deal if you use only a little energy. Some suppliers offer extra discounts if you buy both gas and electricity from them or if you pay monthly by direct debit. Finding all of this information out for yourself can take time and energy, but if you plug in your details to an online energy comparison site it will do all the hard work for you and work out which suppliers will offer you the cheapest energy.
This is how to find a cheaper supplier:
1. Go to an online energy comparison site with a copy of your latest bill(s) for your gas and electricity beside you. If possible, have a year’s worth of bills because then you’ll have your annual energy consumption amount available, which is the most accurate way for an energy comparison site to find the best deal for you. You could always call your supplier and ask for that information if that is easier.
2. You will be asked to fill in your contact details and asked whether you want to receive marketing or other useful information from them in the future (most people wisely tick the box to say ‘no’ here).
3. Then you will be asked to put in details of how much electricity and gas you normally use (this will be on your bills) and what type of plan you’re on (that will also be on your bills). This information is used so that the comparison site can work out which company will offer you the best deal for your type of usage.
4. Once you have chosen a new supplier, you will need to fill in a short application form online and then you will be contacted by your new supplier. Your new and old suppliers will liaise with each other to make sure that your supply of electricity and gas is not interrupted by the changeover.
5. You will receive a new contract within 10 days of your application and the new supplier will make all necessary arrangements to make the switch. You will have a final meter reading taken by your old supplier and a final bill will be sent to you if you owe anything (or they will send you a refund if you are in credit). Then your new supplier will tell you when the switch will take off and how to make arrangements to pay them rather than your old supplier.
You don’t need a plumber or electrician and you won’t need to tell your bank until your new supplier tells you to change your direct debit instructions.
It’s as easy as that. So take that step today and start reviewing your energy costs in the same way as you review your insurance premiums – with dedication and commitment to saving money.