Despite having been able to switch between cheaper energy tariffs for nearly 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people across the country are still not exercising their right to savings. Whilst the county complains about the rising cost of living in all areas, they don’t seem to be taking advantage of one of the main ways to slow and reverse this trend. Switching your energy tariff is without a doubt the number one way to save money on your gas and electricity bills, especially if you have never switched in the past. Any doubts that you may have regarding the ‘hassle’, how long it takes, the poor customer service, the switching away from a big six company, will all be answered on this page. Sit back, read through this article, and get ready to save hundreds of pounds every year.
How much will I really save?
Ok, so you may have seen the various advertised savings that you will make. Be assured, however, that if it is advertised, then it will most certainly not apply to you. Every single situation is different: most of those advertisements are based on averages. Your situation could mean that you save a little less or maybe even a little more. This all depends on the amount of gas and electricity that you use, the current tariff you’re on, your location and many other variables.
One of the most important factors to take into account when comparing your tariff is your location. Prices can change drastically depending on where you are in the country. This is due to distribution costs and other static charges that your energy supplier is subject to in varying degrees across the nation.
At any given time, for the average yearly usage of 3,100 kWh of electricity and 12,500 kWh of gas, switching from the most expensive tariff on the market to the cheapest will save you upwards of £300 per year, which is a huge amount for such little effort.
How to switch
There is a large number of ways in which you can switch your tariff, the most popular of which are switching directly through your supplier or switching through a comparison engine. We recommend the latter; switching through a comparison engine like Selectra or Uswitch will give you a much better overview of the tariffs available to you.
Generally these services will ask you for a little bit of basic information that will allow them to facilitate the switchover without any further aid from yourself. Most comparison engines are now able to switch you over with as little as your name, address and bank details. They may, however, ask you for some additional information in order to make your comparison a little more accurate:
- Yearly usage
- Meter type
- Payment method
- Current tariff and supplier
Types of tariff
100% renewable energy tariffs are the new trend. As the world energy crisis continues to grow, energy suppliers across the country are beginning to supply 100% green tariffs that remove your usage amount directly from unsustainable sources. These are sometimes a little more expensive than standard tariffs, but this is not always the case. Plus, you would really be doing the environment and the future generations to come a favour.
Fixed or variable: The unit rate should be of the utmost importance, as this is what you times your usage amount by when calculating your bill. Unit rates have the tendency to rise and fall (mostly rise) with worldwide wholesale prices and generation efficiency, meaning if you have a variable tariff, you will feel the curvature of this trend; however, if you choose a fixed tariff, your unit rate will be locked in for a predetermined amount of time, leaving you safe in the knowledge that you won’t suddenly start paying more. You should be careful, however, about the length of your contract, as if you decide to terminate prematurely, you may be subject to some quite heavy fees.
Economy 7: This is all relative to how your meter works. If you sign up or an economy 7 tariff, you must have an Economy 7 meter. Basically, this tariff type will measure your usage based on two unit rates: peak; and off peak. Peak prices will be considerably more expensive and the off-peak prices will be drastically reduced. This is great for those people who don’t spend much time in the house through the day. If you can schedule your high-usage appliances to be in action through the night, then this could be for you.