Paying Less for Your Energy: A Handful of Practical Tips

There is little doubt that energy bills are a big drain on your finances, what with the Big Six energy providers hiking their prices recently, with two of them doing it twice within a year! What is one to do? Toe their line or search for the best and cheapest energy tariffs? Of course, you will save a pretty packet if you search for the cheapest energy rates. Find below certain practical tips that will enable you to find the right energy deal and save on money.

Avoid standard variable rate tariff

You need to be careful when your fixed tariff deal ends, for it is then that your energy provider will nudge you towards standard variable rate tariff. Their reason for doing so is simple, that is, to make money. These variable rate tariffs are expensive. According to the figures of previous year obtained from First Utility, will escalate your energy bill by an average of £262 annually. Not only are these variable rate tariffs expensive, but they also provide leeway for your energy supplier to hike costs.

The way out of this is to search for smaller suppliers that offer the best-buy tables and better services. You can do this by manually researching lists of energy suppliers or using online comparison sites. Spending time doing manual research can pay dividends as you can often find deals not apparent on switching sites, however the latter are much faster to use.

Power tip: When using switching sites, always check the box that says something like ‘include plans that require switching directly though the supplier’ as this will reveal even cheaper deals.

Today, the minnows are giving a run for money to the Big Six energy providers. These suppliers offer you a choice of long-term fix and even variable rate that are well under £1,000. Opting for a fixed rate tariff will give you a secure price on each unit of electricity for a set period, whereas variable rate tariff, where the price can fluctuate up and down.

So, to get the full price advantage don’t stick to your original supplier, but switch to a smaller one. It will certainly help in saving cash.

To fix or not to fix

In the past, variable rate tariffs tended to be cheaper, but this trend has changed. Today, the cheapest rates are offered on one-year fixes. Opting for it will save you money. This is because this type fixes the rate you pay for each unit of electricity, usually for a 12- to 18-month period.

The latest trend is to opt for two-year fixed deals. Whether it is one-year or two-year fixed deals, the idea is to avoid expensive variable standard tariffs. It needs to be noted that fixed deals are slightly more than the cheapest deals, if you are going in for long-term security. However, it certainly does not mean that you pay a fixed amount and be done away with it. It will still depend upon the amount of energy consumed, only the tariff per unit is somewhat reduced.

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You need to be careful about some fixed deals that charge exit fees if you decide to leave early. Also, there is no guarantee that a fixed deal is the best long-term option, but if you want to give certainty over bills, this is the best choice.

Benefits of energy switching

Your local energy suppliers are the real beneficiary since they tend to charge more for electricity from people living in their vicinity. This is because they build a monopoly in the region and dictate the energy rates.

To break the stranglehold of your local energy supplier, you will do well to explore the possibility of moving away. This switching will certainly save you money. Of course, finding the cheapest supplier will primarily depend upon where you live. A little search will not only help you find cheap suppliers but also help you in comparing prices to find the best price.

If you are scared that switching from your current energy supplier will attract a penalty, if you decide to leave before the term expires, it will still be worth it. So, accept the penalty and you will still end up saving big.

Cutting your energy bills

If you are still in two minds regarding switching to a smaller energy supplier, you can still limit your energy bill in the following ways:

  • Ask for return of credited money: If you are paying a set amount by direct debit pay each month for gas and electricity, it will be a good idea to ask for a return of money during summer and spring. You may get it back with interest.
  • Save energy: Change the way you use your gas and electricity. This will reduce usage and save money.
  • Pay online: This could cut more than £10 off your annual bills.

Conclusion

Switching energy supplier is a big decision. However, if your current supplier is offering cheaper tariff than what you are currently using, it is wise to switch to it, rather than opt for a new energy supplier. You still end up saving money.

Finding the Most Affordable Electricity Supplier

Have you recently checked out your energy tariffs? If not, then you need to be paying more attention to it now. Keep in mind that your energy bill doesn’t merely indicate or show how much energy you consume.

Take note that your postcode plays an essential role in tracking down how much you pay. According to your region, energy providers charge different rates, although they’re offering the same service. Even if there’s hardly anything you can do about price variations, you can look for the most affordable electricity provider in your region and ensure you are on the optimal tariff.

To save on your energy bill, it might be time to switch to a new supplier. For a little help, here’s how you can find one.

Compare Energy Prices

To analyze all the tariffs for every region as well as the payment method to discover the most inexpensive electricity supplier near you, you can leverage many online services such as the Compare Texas Electricity Rates, Prices & Plans at Eligo Energy.

To start, you need to register online your postcode or zipcode and information about your usage, tariff, and energy supplier. Once you’re done, you can compare deals throughout the market and get the best offer possible.

Keep in mind that aside from ensuring you are on the best available energy deal, you can keep electricity and gas bills to a minimum by making sure that your home is energy efficient. There are short-term measures to save energy that includes;

  • Using low-consumption bulbs.
  • Lowering down your thermostat by one degree.
  • When using an electric kettle, it is wise only to heat as much water.
  • Choose draught-proof doors and windows to cut down heat loss.
  • Turn off standby electrical items.

What’s more, there are long-term measures to save energy that includes;

  • Installing a condensing boiler.
  • Proper insulation.
  • Installing cavity wall insulation.
  • Purchasing energy-efficient electrical items.

Switching Incentives and Refer-A-Friend

A lot of energy providers are now presenting or providing financial rewards for shifting to them. And it includes refer-a-friend deals. So, if you are invited to switch energy providers through a refer-a-friend scheme, ensure you check and examine the following:

  • Customer service
  • Exit fees
  • Attached conditions to the switching incentive
  • Price compared to other deals
  • Price of the tariff

Variable Vs. Fixed Energy Tariffs

More often than not, energy deals arrive in two types: variable and fixed. The question now is, which is best for you? Variable tariffs can alter in price every time your energy provider changes its rates. The default tariff of your supplier will typically be a variable deal.

That said, if you are committed to an energy provider for a couple of years, or did not change after your fixed tariff ended, it is likely that you are on its default tariff. Take note that default tariffs are liable to a price cap, which is a cap on the price for every energy unit, not on your total bill.

Even so, a few small energy suppliers provide variable tariffs that are more affordable compared to large suppliers. Although they can alter their rates too, these suppliers are surely worth considering, especially if you want to pay less without a fixed contract.

On the other hand, fixed tariffs settle the amount you pay for every energy unit you consume for the particular period. Meaning, you know the price beforehand, and it will not increase throughout the contract period. Therefore, if the energy provider increases its prices, yours won’t. However, you will not benefit if the prices decrease, either.

Which is more affordable between the two? Well, the most inexpensive deals out there tend to be a combination of variable and fixed. As such, it is not easy to choose between the two.

Avoiding Exit Fees

Before you even decide to change the energy provider, be sure to check the agreements or terms of your deal. If you choose to withdraw a fixed tariff before your contract ends, you might have to pay an exit fee.

However, do not let this dismay you because not all fixed-term deals include exit fees. So, if you switch, better choose one without exit fees. Also, your energy provider cannot charge an exit fee if you shift provider in the last forty-nine days of your term. Moreover, if you are moving home, you don’t need to pay exit fees.

Takeaway

If you have switched energy providers, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your bills are accurate. You can send your meter readings to your provider to ensure you are being billed only for what you consume. Aside from this, you can ask for a refund if you are unduly in credit. Also, be sure to determine the end date of your fixed-term tariff before you switch to a new deal so that you won’t be moved to a default tariff.