In the current economic climate most households are looking to cut back on their expenditure and one of the best places to start is with your energy bills. Gas and electricity prices are constantly on the rise but that doesn’t mean that with a few simple acts you can’t dramatically reduce your bill; there are great savings to be made, it’s just knowing exactly how to go about achieving them.
Each year it is estimated that UK households waste four billion pounds paying more than they need be for their gas and electricity.
Suppliers know only too well that energy prices are something of a mystery and that people are reluctant to switch between companies. However, when it comes to your bills, change can lead to big savings. Here are some simple changes which can help make those bills less unwelcome.
Change your rates
Before you look for a new energy provider you want to ensure that you are getting the best possible rates from your current supplier. Gas and electricity meters can be confusing at best, but if you spend a few hours going through your old bills you should start to get a better picture of exactly how much energy you are using. The more information you have about how much energy you use the better placed you are to ensure you are on the correct tariff. Average users should be looking to spend in the region of £40 on electricity and £50 on gas per month; if you are spending much more than this you are almost certainly not getting the best deal.
Change you supplier
Once you have a good understanding of how much energy you use, you should spend some time on one of the many online comparison sites to check that you wouldn’t be better off switching supplier. People are often reticent to make a change but it really couldn’t be simpler. If you do decide to switch then your new supplier will simply take over once your current contract has come to an end. In the last ten years, USwitch, one of the major independent comparison sites, has helped over two million people save on their energy bills by changing provider.
One thing to consider, if you are not already, is to have both your gas and electricity supplied by the same company. Energy suppliers offer what are known as ‘duel fuel discounts’ as an incentive and these can often lead to substantial savings.
If you do switch supplier then make sure you know how long their quoted tariff will run for. Some companies will offer cheap rates for a short period of time, only for them to rise steeply further down the line. Avoid this trap at all costs.
Change the way you pay
Like all companies, energy suppliers are constantly trying to cut their overheads and therefore offer their customers incentives to help them achieve this. Most will offer a reduced rate if you are prepared to set up a monthly direct debit and while the savings may not look substantial, they soon add up. In order to save on the expense of physical billing the majority of suppliers also offer a reduced tariff for those prepared to make the shift to online billing. Once again the savings may not seem that substantial but coupled with duel fuel discounts, direct debit incentives and an optimised tariff and you will soon begin to see your energy spend drop. Change really can be good when it comes to bills!