Here’s how to switch suppliers and start saving on your energy bills

by Tim Deakin Domestic Energy News

Here’s how to switch suppliers and start saving on your energy bills

What kind of tariffs are available and which one is right for you?

Whether it’s a car or a bottle of shampoo, we’re constantly comparing the price of products and services in our lives. Yet strangely, we often forget to do this when it comes to our utility bills.

Perhaps it’s because we don’t see our electricity, gas or water costs racking up each day as we would with our shopping bill; or perhaps it’s because we just come to accept the bills that are wrapped up in owning and running a home. For many people, the energy bill simply gets paid by direct debit, alongside the TV licence and council tax.

Whatever the reason for overlooking your energy bill, now is as good a time as any to reset and start paying more attention to those pesky overheads. A survey from Ofgem back in 2014 found that more than half of us (53%) have been confused by energy tariffs, and a third said energy bills were a source of worry.

If you’re unsure about how to start getting your energy costs down, the simple thing to do is to hop on to our price comparison. After all, you won’t know what’s a good deal and what’s not until you’ve seen what every supplier is prepared to offer.

Your introduction to available energy tariffs

The first thing you need to understand about choosing energy tariffs is that there’s more to it than a simple unit fee. There are different kind of energy agreements to consider, so you can start narrowing down your choices by finding a category that works for you.

Standard variable rate

This tends to be an energy supplier’s default tariff. You may even be automatically switched onto a standard variable tariff if you reach the end of an agreement. So, if you haven’t changed tariff for a long time this is probably what you’re dealing with.

These rates offer complete flexibility as you’re not tied to a fixed end date. However, there is also no protection from price increases on a standard variable rate, so it rarely works out to be the cheapest option.

Fixed rate

As the name suggests, a fixed rate tariff ties you to a set cost for each unit of energy until an agreed end date. These tariffs often last for between 1 and 5 years.

The great thing about a fixed rate tariff is that it offers you peace of mind, as you know how much you’re going to be paying. Rates often work out cheaper than with standard variable tariffs, too. However, it’s important to remember that it is the price per unit that is fixed, not your monthly amount. So if you start using more energy you’ll also end up paying more.

Dual fuel

A dual fuel tariff is tempting because it helps make things simple. This is when you receive your gas and electricity from the same supplier. Energy companies will often offer a reduced rate for dual fuel customers, and you only have to deal with one company. However, you’ll need to make sure that the savings they’re offering are actually better value than choosing separate suppliers.

Green tariffs

In recent years, more and more suppliers have begun to offer green tariffs. This means they’ll either match your usage with renewable energy generation or they’ll contribute towards sustainability schemes on your behalf.

Green tariffs are a powerful way to make your voice heard when it comes to the importance of environmentalism, but they may not always be the cheapest option. You’ll need to weigh up your priorities. You’ll also need to establish exactly how green the tariff is, as companies can support the environment in extremely different ways.

Will you be charged for switching?

While some fixed tariffs do have an exit fee, many are free to leave at any time. And in the case of a standard variable tariff, there are almost never any exit fees. So make sure you understand what kind of tariff you’re currently on and what the small print entails. This will give you a clearer idea of how to go about finding yourself a deal which is better suited to your needs.

Ready to switch your supplier? The Energy Check can help you find the tariff that best suits you, making switching easy and rewarding. Click here to start comparing deals today or get in touch by calling 0800 031 48 00.

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