Switching Suppliers is Your First Step Toward Lower Energy Costs

Just when many families thought their financial recovery was firmly footed, rising costs present another set of challenges. Among them, the climbing cost of energy adds to household burdens already taxed by high house prices, inflation, and poor returns on cash savings. Efforts are underway to stabilise the economy, but individual households are employing their own measures against growing financial pressure.

As the winter heating season looms on the horizon, one of the most pressing concerns shared by families across the UK: What can we do to keep energy spend in line? There is no single answer, but switching suppliers might be a fast way to shave a few pounds from your monthly billing, without spending all your savings on blankets and pullovers.

Evaluate Spending and Change Providers

It’s too easy to just keep on with the same energy service, which sometimes leaves money on the table. If you’re balancing rising costs or concerned about higher heat bills this winter, changing providers might be a good first step toward savings. Start with a close look at your bills to see what you’re paying and investigate alternatives, which may help you find savings.

Weigh the Savings – You might find up-front incentives offered by suppliers, but that doesn’t always mean long-term savings. For the best results, figure what you’re using in gas and electricity, so you know exactly what to expect. That way, you’re not relying on an estimated billing from your supplier. If the numbers work out in your favor, make the move to a cheaper provider.

Separate Gas and Electric Services – Paying for electricity and gas from the same supplier is a convenient way to cover your energy needs, but it isn’t always the cheapest available alternative. In some cases, separating the two energy sources between different suppliers is a more cost effective approach. It is worth a look, so if you’re trying to trim spending, investigate single fuel as well as dual fuel options. The extra inconvenience managing two accounts might be worth the money you save by splitting payments.

Use Online Resources to Compare Costs – There is no excuse for missing out on energy savings. Accredited websites are available to consumers, running down the cost of services from various suppliers. You can check multiple options without going out into the cold, so a few minutes at the keyboard could cut your annual expenses just in time for the winter heating season.

Check Your Consumption – Once you’ve settled on a supplier you’re comfortable with, take periodic meter readings, establishing your actual usage. If you don’t, you’ll pay estimations, which may not reflect the actual price of energy used.
Choose Online Bills – Payments might be less expensive when made online. In some cases, savings of as much as 10 per cent are available to households choosing online options.

Track Your Fixed Deal – Your fixed deal has an expiration, so it is important to know when it’s going to run out. Unless you make arrangements beforehand, your energy supplier might move you to a variable rate deal at the end of your fixed term. The charges are usually more expensive than fixed deals, so failing to keep abreast can leave you paying more than you should. If you’re on a variable tariff, go back to square-one and think about switching to a more affordable fixed deal.

Use A Cashback Website – Once you’ve picked a supplier, make the change through a cashback website to get fast savings. Deals vary, but you’ll save up-front, adding to what you’re sure is the lowest priced supplier for your consumption.

There’s more than one way to cut-back energy payments; there is no doubt, changing your habits can save you money on gas and electricity. But to make the most of your energy budget, consider switching to a more affordable supplier, and stay on track with periodic reviews of your bill – especially when fixed deals expire.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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