Make sure your home is fully insulated and your heating system is working efficiently.
Around 98% of householders get their gas and electricity from the six largest suppliers, yet there are now 15 smaller independent suppliers operating in the market, some of which are offering very competitive deals. Switching suppliers can help you achieve significant bill savings. Ofgem has established that householders can save an average of £158 by switching to the cheapest deal on the market with their current payment method.
It is worth contacting your own energy supplier to find out whether you are on the best tariff for your circumstances. You can then consider switching energy supplier - this can save you money off your fuel bills, particularly if you have been with the same supplier for a number of years. There are a number of Ofgem approved websites which will guide you through the process from obtaining a quote to changing supplier.
Switching supplier should be a simple process and will take an average of six weeks to take effect - the process should be stress free and your new supplier will guide you through a set procedure. It is always worth remembering to check a new suppliers customer service records as this is also an important factor when changing supplier.
There are a few points to remember;
- Fixed term contracts allow you to pay the same unit rate for your energy for the duration of the contract term. The biggest draw is that you are protected if your energy supplier raises its prices. BUT..
- If you are in a fixed term contract there may be an exit fee which may mean any savings from switching are cancelled out unless it is the end of your contract term.
- Deals offered with cash back incentives often mean that monthly direct debit payments are slightly higher.
If you find that the savings you would make through switching supplier would be minimal, then you could contact your existing supplier to see if they can offer you a better deal - it is worth trying to save this way as a lot of people do find their suppliers can offer better value for money.
Visit Ofgem's approved switching site
Warm Up North
Go Energy Shopping- An Ofgem campaign designed to help you see how switching energy providers can be simple and may result in financial savings.
GOV.UK: Heating benefits
Energy Saving Trust
Age Concern Tyneside South
Citizens Advice: Consumer Service