How To Save Money On Your Energy Bill
Are you spending too much on gas and electricity? If you’ve never changed energy companies orhaven’t switched in the last two years, you could be £200 richer if you switch today.
According to a report from the Competition and Markets Authority (published 18 February), 95% of customers who receive their energy from the Big Six suppliers (British Gas, Npower, EDF, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE) could save over £200 a year for a low-medium usage household, or over £400 a year for a high usage household. However, relatively few people bother to switch to a better deal.
Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) indicate that 13.5 million UK households have never switched energy supplier despite the savings on offer. The CMA meanwhile reports that 40% of British Gas domestic gas customers have been with the company for over 10 years, despite it being one of the most expensive. Overall, 40-50% of all electricity customers are still with their original supplier.
Use your Power to Switch
DECC has released a new campaign called Power to Switch, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of switching energy companies, highlighting that millions of homeowners are paying £200 too much for their gas and electricity each year by not switching energy companies.
Power to Switch affirms the reasons why now is the time to switch, with the government having made several changes that make the energy market more accessible and easier to understand. Find out more at www.goenergyshopping.co.uk.
Switch and save
If you’ve never switched energy companies or haven’t changed your tariff for a few years, you will almost certainly save money by switching today. Check your current supplier’s website (or give them a call) to see whether it’s worth switching to another one of their tariffs.
If you want to switch energy suppliers without using a price comparison website, it’s a good idea to choose one of the smaller, independent suppliers. Don’t be put off if you haven’t heard of them – they’re usually cheaper and their service is just as good. In reality, you’ll rarely need to contact them if you set up Direct Debit payments and submit regular meter readings anyway.
Switching energy companies is now faster
Independent energy company First Utility’s successful Fix the Switch campaign helped make switching gas and electricity supplier faster than ever before. In November 2014, the time it takes to switch supplier was slashed from five weeks to two and a half weeks (including a two week cooling off period and three days for the switch). The next goal is 24-hour switching, an ambition which has been backed by industry regulator Ofgem.
Faster switching means getting a better deal on your gas and electricity easier, so find out more about how to switch energy companies or call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 for personal advice.
Colin Urquart is a political commentator and energy blogger. He works with various agencies to support change in the energy sector.
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