You are here

Is switching your energy tariff worth the 'hassle'?

When faced with the thought of switching energy providers, much like with any of our other utilities, many of us shy away with thoughts in the ilk of “This will take too much time” and “This is a lot of hassle”. The reality, however, is that 9 times out of 10, there is next to no hassle at all! Yes, the switch can take up to around 17 days to be completed, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do anything within that time. Once you have passed on your information to Selectra or another energy company or supplier, we will do the rest. Your focus should really be set to what you have to gain.

You could save money

Despite the bogus figures that many companies pull out of the air, such as "You’ll save £400 per year!", for the majority of us, this is simply just not true. You have to be realistic about the amount of money that you will be likely to save; however, in many cases, you will save noticeable amounts of valuable savings. For those of us who rarely or never change our energy tariffs, the saving is likely to be much higher, as the tariff you’re on now will most likely be your provider’s most expensive. However, for those of us who are a bit more savvy about their energy, it’s all about keeping yourself on the best tariff available and avoiding the inevitable increases.

One of the key factors to bear in mind here is whether you should take a standard or fixed tariff. There are many benefits to having a standard tariff, such as the chance to see a reduction in your tariff price and the lack of a contractual period. However, due to the nature of the global wholesale markets, the likliness of your tariff rising in price is much higher than it lowering. Although fixed rate tariffs can sometimes be a little bit more expensive than the standard variable, the fact their prices are frozen for a certain period of time will generally prove much more financially rewarding than taking a gamble on the variable offer. The longer the freeze, generally, the higher the unit rate, although as mentioned before, this should be seen as a good thing, as in two years time, at the end of your contract, the unit rate could be considerably higher than what you had been paying before.

Should you go green?

As the world has developed, our environment has seen some pretty devastating changes. In a bid to slow, and potentially reverse these effects, many energy companies are pushing quite strongly for a change towards more and more renewable energy. As this is a relatively new advancement, the majority of large suppliers are still purchasing a majority part of their electricity from the wholesale market, thus the higher the percentage of all-green energy that you want, the more you will pay. That said, the difference is not as high as you may expect. It is likely that if you haven’t changed your tariff in over 5 years, a 100% renewable electricity tariff would still be cheaper than what you are paying now.

Find out more about green

The importance of customer service

If you are thinking of switching to another company, and the price difference is negligible, you should really do your research into the customer service reviews of your desired provider before rushing into a contract. Customer service can say a lot about a company and can make your life considerably easier if you encounter an issue or are in need of assistance. I think we can all agree that an extra couple of quid is definitely worth not having to endure another ‘customer service nightmare’.

To sum up

All energy tariffs are based on YOUR specific needs and usage. Someone else’s savings may not relay to your household even if it is the same tariff. The supposed savings that you’ve seen on energy websites are generally based on the UK average consumption and will most likely not line up with your household usage. Not only this, prices change depending on region, meaning your friends and relatives who live in other areas of the country may be paying more or less than you for the same usage. Also, don’t be afraid to do your bit for the environment and the general advancement of the renewable electricity business by going green, as it’s likely that you will be surprised at how little the difference really is!