Compare Gas and Electricity Prices
In recent years, and for much of the 21st century, there have been constant increases in UK gas and electricity prices. As a savvy consumer, no doubts you’ve been looking for ways to counteract these increases and instead try and make some savings on your household bills. Coupled with an increase in awareness about global warming, the UK has seen a dramatic increase in measures such as purchasing energy efficient light bulbs and turning off unnecessary appliances. But one of the quickest and easiest ways to save money is still to compare gas and electricity prices for your household and simply switch provider.
Is it really worth switching?
No doubts you are well aware of the numerous advertisements online, on television, on the radio and on billboards which encourage you to compare and switch your gas and electricity providers. Some still take this to be some sort of way to get more money out of the consumers and not offer very much in the way of benefits. Well, this isn’t really the case at all.
Benefits of switching
When you arrive at a new property, you are naturally placed on what is known as a Variable Rate Tariff which just so happens to be the most expensive tariff offered. So performing a comparison and changing is, from the outset, always the best route to take, even if you do remain with the same provider but on a fixed tariff instead.
Secondly, just because you are quoted a price by an energy supplier one month, it doesn’t mean it will be the same next month. Prices frequently change amongst providers so it’s worth checking out other suppliers if your current contract is coming to an end.
It is often the case that switching to an altogether different tariff can lend itself to huge savings. Dual tariffs are increasingly popular as they often offer savings and also allow you to keep all your bills in one place.
Disadvantages of switching
Really, the only disadvantage of switching your tariff is if you somehow move over to a more expensive provider! Before you perform a switch you can thoroughly compare gas and electricity prices from different providers to make sure you get the best deal. If for some reason you don’t like your new provider, then by law you have 14 days to reverse your decision with no charges or penalties.
What are others saying?
Ofgem is the UK government’s regulatory body that oversees gas and electricity providers. Their sole focus is protecting consumer interests and encouraging fair prices and fair treatment at all times. In a recent report carried out in March 2017, they found that the average household price for gas and electricity in the UK is £1086 per year. The same report found that the cheapest available option was £834. Though this doesn’t mean that everyone can save more than £250 through an immediate switch, it means there are a lot of quick savings to be made by households across the country.
Furthermore, CMA, the UK’s Competitions and Marketing Authority are keen to press new measures in the energy market which will eventually aim to save UK households around £1.7bn a year. They believe that competition isn’t fierce enough amongst suppliers and are introducing new measures to broaden the number of suppliers and give consumers the savings they need. So the only way to find out if it’s time for you to access these savings is to compare gas and electricity prices for your household.
If you think it might be time to compare the gas and electricity prices for your home, here are some commonly asked questions.
What tariffs are available?
As previously mentioned, the standard tariff you get given when moving into a new home is the variable tariff. Beyond this, you have a fixed tariff, a dual tariff, online tariff, capped tariff, feed in tariff, green tariff and economy 7 tariff. When performing your comparison search, it’s worth seeing which prices are offered for all these options. Some, such as the green tariff, will likely be slightly more expensive but offer other benefits. If you’re not fully aware of all of these types, it may be worth researching them beforehand to see if you like the sound of any of them.
Is dual tariff the best?
One of the most common tariffs to switch to is the dual tariff, which means you will pay your gas and electricity prices all through the same provider. In many cases, this will work out cheaper and offer the added benefit that you have all your bills in one place. However, it is not always the cheapest and going through separate providers still often works out cheaper.
How long does it take?
Switching over providers is instantaneous and you won’t notice anything different. Once you give the go ahead to the new supplier, they will contact your old supplier and let them know and then perform all the switchovers on their end.
How much will you save?
As mentioned, the report by Ofgem found that there is over £250 in difference between the average UK energy price for a year and the lowest price available. For some, this may be less and for others, the savings could be much more. The best way to find out is to perform a comparison check.
When can I switch?
You can switch at any time, though if you are in the middle of a fixed contract with your current provider you may have to pay an exit fee. With this charge, it may not be worthwhile switching, though for others it may still be. One thing worth noticing is that, by law, you will be notified by your provider with 6 to 7 weeks of your contract with them ending. In that time, if you find a better deal elsewhere, they cannot charge you for switching. Also, if you currently have unpaid bills with your existing provider you may need to pay these before you can switch.
Should I get a Smart Meter?
Getting a Smart Meter is not something currently offered by all providers. For some households, it could lead to ways to make larger savings on your energy usage, but for others, it may prove to be of little use. If a Smart Meter is something you would like to go ahead and try out, just make sure beforehand that they provide it and offer it in your area. Alternatively, you could remain with your current supplier if it’s cheaper to do so and simply wait til your provider starts supplying them, which they likely will in coming years.
Of course, the only way you will find out if you will save any money by changing your supplier is to compare gas and electricity prices for your home. To find out quickly just how much you can save, enquire with us today. Our team will find you hand picked, tailor made quotes specifically for your household needs and requirements.