Do you want to cut your gas and electricity bills but find switching energy companies confusing? Whether you’re on a pre-payment meter or pay a monthly bill, if you’ve not switched your energy supplier for a while you’re likely to make some BIG savings.

Take control of your energy spend now!

Thinking of changing your energy supplier? Energy bills are a BIG worry for our tenants, but there are considerable savings to be made by changing to a new deal.

Switching your energy supplier or tariff could save you money. If you are currently paying separate suppliers for your gas and electricity supply, it is likely that you can save by switching to a dual fuel deal, where both your gas and electricity come from the same supplier. Because those on a dual fuel tariff receive all of their energy through just one provider, the supplier usually offers customers loyalty discounts.

It’s also possible that you could save more on your energy bills by having a single fuel tariff each for your gas and electricity. However, it’s recommended that you take the time to compare dual fuel against single fuel tariffs directly to see which option provides you with the best deal for your circumstances.

See how much you could save by switching to a better energy deal by running a check on Which? Switch energy comparison calculator, here's how it works http://switch.which.co.uk/index.html

Before you switch you should check:

  • whether you have a fixed-term contract that lets your supplier charge you a fee to leave - this is called an exit fee and you can check it on your energy bill
  • what the customer service rating is like for the potential new supplier
  • whether your current supplier offers a cheaper tariff - it will save you the effort of switching
  • You might not be able to switch if you’re in debt to your supplier.
  • If you get the Warm Home Discount (a benefit for pensioners and people on a low income), check whether the new supplier offers it - you’ll lose it if they don’t
  • If you’ve applied for the Warm Home Discount but not yet got it, you'll have to apply again if you switch supplier. Your new supplier might have different rules about who gets it. This doesn’t apply if you get the Warm Home Discount automatically.
  • If you have a prepayment meter you can switch supplier unless you owe your supplier more than £500 for gas or £500 for electricity.

Compare Prices

The other way you can save is by using internet price comparison sites.

The comparison sites offer all of the deals available from the ‘Big 6’ energy suppliers as well as those available from newer smaller energy companies.

Comparative energy prices can be found on the following websites which have the ‘Consumer Focus Confidence Code’ accreditation:

www.beatthatquote.com
www.energyhelpline.com  
www.energylinx.co.uk  
www.moneysupermarket.com
www.simplyswitch.com
www.theenergyshop.com
www.ukpower.co.uk
www.uswitch.com
www.whichswitch.co.uk   

We recommend you try a couple of these sites to make sure you are getting the best deal but before you switch there are a few things you need to consider:

1. How much energy do you currently use?

Energy efficiencyYou can check this by looking at your energy bills for the past year. To make sure the comparison is accurate, try to use bills based on real meter readings, not on estimates.

Alternatively, our tenants can now borrow an energy monitor for 4 weeks free of charge. The monitor shows you how much electricity you are using (and what it costs) and can reduce electricity bills by 10% through improved awareness. Please contact the Energy and Climate Change Team on 01902 556789 for more details

2. Which ‘tariff’ should I choose?

Be aware that some tariffs may be much more expensive than others. Different tariffs (or prices) are offered to different customers based on their circumstances. It is worth shopping around and making comparisons between the prices offered by different suppliers in your area. Whatever price you are quoted, you should make sure that it includes VAT.

3. How can I pay?

Payment logosEnergy suppliers usually offer a variety of payment options to customers, such as paying weekly or quarterly, and paying by cash, postal order, cheque, direct debit or in a prepayment meter. Ask suppliers to tell you about all the options so that you can make the best choice.

4. Do they have any extra or hidden charges?

Some suppliers add a daily standing charge to your fuel bill and others do not. Those companies that do not add a standing charge may instead ask for a higher unit price for the gas and electricity you use. You may also want to make sure that there are no penalties for cancelling a contract once you have signed it.

5. Pre-payment or Credit Meter?

It is a myth that paying for gas and electricity on a prepayment meter is more expensive than a credit meter. Prepayment meter rates are the same as the standard rate using a credit meter, however many companies provide a 6-7% for online dual fuel direct debits which can only be set up if you have a credit meter.

Many companies charge to change your prepayment meter to a credit meter. However, it may be installed for free if you meet certain credit checks or if you find it difficult to read the meter.

6. Do I need to switch?

Remember you may be also be able to get a cheaper energy tariff from your current supplier so it is worth contacting them to discuss if you are on the best tariff they offer.

7.What information do I need to switch?

Watch uSwitch short video on how to get the info off your bill that you need to switch, and get helpful insight from their Energy Expert, Tom Lyons.

 

Don't want to switch?

Remember you may be also be able to get a cheaper energy tariff from your current supplier so it is worth contacting them to discuss if you are on the best tariff they offer.

 

For further information or for help and assistance in switching your energy supplier, please contact our Energy and Climate Change Team

 
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