Switching your energy supplier is not as hard as you think
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.
22 million people in the UK are paying too much for their gas and electric
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. 22 million people in the UK are paying too much for their gas and electric, it is time to start saving!
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.
Two thirds of the UK are currently on a standard variable tariff which is probably why you are paying too much for your gas and electric. 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 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.
Be careful of termination fees, they can really be damaging when wanting to switch. Most fixed rate tariffs will have a termination fee, but a variable standard tariff might not. Always check before accepting a cheap energy deal because the cancellation fee might be high.
- What do you need to switch supplier?
- Your postcode
- Existing supplier
- Your current energy usage
- Your last bill
- Name of your energy deal (not a requirement, but useful for comparing how much you will save)
When to change and why
It is always a good time to change your tariff becasue new tariffs come onto the market every month, so you will always have the option to get a better rate for your home.
Summer can be a great time to change as you spend less on heating your home also, if you are on a standard rate, you could be owed money for the energy you don’t use.
When winter comes back around, the accumulated credit will gradually disappear as you begin to spend more energy in your home.
If you switch before winter, you could get a better rate through the cold season and get money back for the energy you have not used.
Prepayment meters are also eligible for a change of tariff even if you do not own the property. Don’t accept the tariff you have just because of the meter: we advise you to shop around and see what is best for you.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t even need your landlord's permission if you are the one paying for the bill.
- What we recommend
- Get a contract without an exit fee
- Search for tariffs twice a year; always make sure you are getting the best deal
- Change your energy bill before winter
- Pick the company with the best customer service rating
- Do your research
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.
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, but 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!