It is so easy to get stuck in a rut with all those essential utility bills that you almost forget they are there and just let them renew year on year, but have you asked yourself if you are getting the best deal?
I looked into this last year as our current energy plan was up for renewal and it was the best move I have made so far.
Being a techy family I like to know when and where we are spending our money as well as what we are spending and I found the perfect company and tariff. Searching the comparison sites was easier than I thought and there is none of the pressure selling like you get from the “door knockers” or the high street. You simply get to investigate at your own pace and then make a decision on your own terms.
I contacted my chosen supplier and they took the hassle of the move out of my hands and arranged everything themselves. The only thing I had to do was pay my final bill with my previous supplier and it was done!
The company I am with now not only gave me the best deal, but provided a Smart Energy Meter which sends my meter readings directly to them, so none of the hassle of submitting them every month online, or having someone visit to read them for me. They also gave me a small monitor that I keep in the lounge which not only tells me how much I am spending each day, but sets me a challenge (hard, medium or low) to spend less and sounds an alarm when I am close to going over my target each day.
This may not be for everyone but it has definitely helped us be greener and save money on our energy bills and the geek in me loves to click on the app and see how our energy consumption compares to the previous year. We also pay as we go, only paying what we used in the last month – as you can imagine we save lots of money over the summer, giving us a little extra spending money in the school holidays, but the winter months are a little more expensive which we budget for.
As you can see we have saved money using this system *does a happy dance*
TheDepartment of Energy and Climate Change has just launched their #PowerToSwitch campaign encouraging people to switch energy suppliers and save money by highlighting the benefits of switching. Reasons for switching vary – you might want to save money (many can save around £200 or some even more), get better customer service or to have a more “green” supplier.
With 27 energy companies on the market and some fixed deals £100 cheaper than they were a year ago, there’s never a better time to find a great deal, switch and save. The BeAnEnergyShopper.com comparison site is perfect for finding out more about switching and what deal is the best for you and your household.
What you need to know about switching and energy saving:
Today millions of households are missing out on the best deals, despite the fact that there has never been a better time to switch. There are now more energy suppliers than ever to choose from with 27 competing for customers. The market has been reformed make it simpler, clearer and quicker to switch supplier and many households could save around £200 or more. To find out more visit www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com.
How do I switch?
There are 3 steps to switching supplier:
- Before you start shopping around, you’re going to need some key information about your current gas and electricity tariffs. So grab a recent bill or an annual summary sent any time after April 2014.
This will have the following information:
- Your tariff name.
- Your tariff end date.
- Your method of payment.
- Your annual consumption
- Start comparing tariffs
Price comparison sites are a great way to accurately compare current prices, along with any comparable tariffs. But there are a number of other ways too. For more information visit www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com
- Switch either by switching through a price comparison website or contacting the energy company you would like to switch to.
- Why is switching important for consumers?
The market is more competitive and prices are coming down. The cheapest fixed deal on the market today for the average consumer is around £100 cheaper than a year ago. Whether you are switching to save money, want your energy to come from renewable sources or would like a better customer experience, now is a great time to shop around, switch and save.
- What steps have been taken to improve the consumer energy market in recent years and why have these been important?
This government has been clear about our ambition to make the energy market work for people. A series of reforms have been introduced to help consumers compare tariffs more easily and switch suppliers more quickly. Independent are suppliers increasing competitive pressure on the larger companies. Indeed, 10% of the market is now made up of independent suppliers, in 2010 it was just 1%. Switching times have also been halved.
- How does the ‘Power to Switch’ campaign encourage householders to think more about the energy they use in order to reduce their bills?
This campaign is about helping people to save money on their bills by switching their tariff or energy supplier. If people want to reduce their bills by making their homes more energy efficient there are Government schemes to help them do this, such as the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). With another release of funding for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund coming soon, even more people are set to enjoy a warmer, cheaper, greener home for years to come. For more information on these schemes contact the Energy Saving Advice Services on 0300 123 1234 or visit gov.uk/GreenDeal and gov.uk/Energy-Company-Obligation.
- What other aspects of energy saving do you feel it is important for consumers to understand?
There are a number of government measures helping more than one million homes across the country have permanently lower energy bills – whether that’s thanks to better insulation or more effective boilers. People should also consider about energy saving on a day to day basis – small changes have the potential to make a big difference. Some energy saving tips include:
- Always use the dishwasher on eco settings saving
- Line dry whenever possible rather than tumble dry
- Turn off radiators in unused rooms
- Only fill kettle with as much water as you need
- Switch off lights and electrical appliances when not in use
- Many older and vulnerable customers could be missing out on a fair deal because they prefer to stay loyal to their supplier. What is the Government doing to make sure everybody can enjoy the benefits from the messages in this campaign? Please give examples.
We don’t want anyone to miss out. We have created the Big Energy Saving Network – a Government funded outreach project to help elderly and vulnerable people struggling with their bills. The inaugural 2013/14 Big Energy Saving Network reached over 90,000 consumers. Details of your local volunteer group are available on gov.uk or call your local Citizens Advice Bureau. We also run the Big Energy Saving Week at the start of every year, supported by Citizens Advice, which helps people to reduce their bills through energy efficiency measures and switching suppliers.
Next winter 2 million low-income and vulnerable households will get £140 off their energy bills, thanks to the government’s Warm Home Discount scheme. Recent changes to the scheme will mean an additional 70,000 struggling families, disabled customers and other vulnerable people are eligible to apply. This rebate will help people heat their homes for less, giving them the help they need and money off their bills next winter. For more information on eligibility criteria and which energy companies offer rebates, visit the Warm Home Discount overview page.
- After switching, what can the savviest-shoppers among us do next to reduce our bills?
When buying household goods, savvy shoppers can use an appliance’s energy rating to choose a more energy efficient product and save money. Since bringing in legislation all household appliances now meet a minimum energy efficiency standard, which has helped to keep more money in the pockets of consumers. And we’re going even further by making sure that energy efficiency standards are upgraded on a regular basis for different product categories.