Today I’m going to tell you about how easy it is to switch energy suppliers and hopefully reassure you that it’s easy to do, takes no time at all and can give you significant savings on your current energy spend each month.
Energy suppliers usually have to up their prices when there are changes in the industry and increases in inflation. When these price hikes get passed on to us – the customers – it makes me think about switching to get the best deal. Switching energy suppliers is probably one of the easiest things you can do to shave some money off your monthly budget but it’s often something that people put off doing because they think it’s difficult and time-consuming.
Switching energy suppliers is much easier than you think!
I was one of those people who put it off for ages because not only did I think it would take too long for little return. I also had visions of all sorts of things going wrong but I’m pleased to report that not only did my part in the switching process take less than twenty minutes, I also managed to reduce my energy spend each month considerably!
Your new supplier will literally do everything for you, once you give them the go-ahead. When I switched, they contacted my old supplier and switched my supply over to them within about four weeks so all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the savings.
I couldn’t be happier that I’ve switched but that won’t stop me looking for a better deal as soon as my fixed-rate deal comes to an end. I have a calendar reminder on my phone for the month beforehand so I don’t forget – how organised is that?
How do you know when it’s time to switch energy suppliers?
If you haven’t reviewed your energy tariff for a while and you’re not currently on a fixed rate tariff then it’s highly likely that you could save money so it’s worth grabbing your last energy bill and searching online to see what sort of savings you could make. There are lots of comparison websites online that will help you with this but the one over on the Skint Dad website is fab and definitely one of the easiest to use. You just need the information from a recent bill to see how much you can save and if you find a rate that saves you money then you can switch to it at the same time. There’s usually a 14-day cooling off period too, just in case you change your mind.
Fixed Rate or Standard Variable Rate?
This was the main question I had when I changed suppliers – do I go for a fixed rate deal where the price I signed up for was fixed for a set period of time or a standard variable rate where the rate can go up or down?
The savings I made when I switched supplier were significant because I’d previously been on the standard variable tariff with my old supplier which meant that I was in an ongoing contract with my supplier at their standard rate – no special offers, no deals, nothing. My supplier had cheaper rates available but because my initial fixed rate deal had ended from when I moved into this house, they just moved me onto their standard tariff which, according to OFGEM, is generally a more expensive tariff to be on.
A standard variable rate energy tariff can increase (and decrease but mine never did that I can remember) according to market conditions, which is something that worried me, as I like to know where I’m at with things.
I chose to go for a fixed rate tariff which means that the cost I pay per unit of energy usage is set for a fixed period of time (mine is set for two years) which I chose, despite it not being the cheapest rate available at the time. I would always recommend a fixed rate option because, even though I pay a little more per unit of energy, I know that the rate is going to stay the same for the next two years and that gives me peace of mind and greater control of my monthly budget.
The fixed rate means that I don’t need to worry about huge increases for the next couple of years – especially in the uncertain financial climate that we’re in right now. Every time I turn the news on I hear that costs are set to soar and this fix means that even if they do, my energy bills are protected for a good while.
What else might you want to consider:
Although the price is normally the most important factor when you consider switching energy suppliers, there may be other factors that you might want to take into account:
- Can you manage your account online and make payments how you want to make them? Often a tariff that offers the option to pay by Direct Debit and to go paperless by managing your account online will come with a reduction in your bill but you might not want to pay by Direct Debit and have to go online to view your bills so make sure you find a supplier who saves you money but doesn’t make things more difficult for you.
- Do you want to make your home a smart home and be able to control your heating remotely? Some companies have tariffs that include the technology you need to be able to set that up. EDF Energy, for example, has a tariff called Connect + Control 2 which not only gives fixed energy costs until February 2020 but also offers an Amazon Echo and a HeatSmart thermostat so you can control the heating in your home and make sure it’s warm when you want it to be warm.
- Is a guarantee that your energy has been sourced ethically important to you? It is to me and I want to know that the supplier I choose is making decisions that are good for the environment and that they’re contributing to a world where we’re trying to slow climate change rather than making the problem worse.
There are lots of tariffs out there so I’m sure you’ll be able to find one that’s just right for you but to give you an idea, I’d recommend checking out the tariffs that EDF Energy have available as they definitely cover everything I want from a supplier.
Do you still have questions about switching energy suppliers?
If like me, you have lots of questions that you want to ask before you decide whether you want to switch then I recommend that you have a look at this how-to switch guide from EDF Energy, it’s totally impartial and you’ll find the answers to just about every question on there.
What sort of rate are you on at the moment – standard variable rate or fixed? And are you thinking of switching?
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