What makes a company the best energy supplier for you?
Does it seem like your energy prices have skyrocketed? As winter approaches, it is important to make sure that you are using the best energy supplier for your home. That means good service, at reasonable prices.
The good news is that if you aren’t satisfied with your gas and electric supplier, or think that you are paying too much, it is easier than ever to switch. In fact, you probably should switch. The energy industry is rare in that it does not reward loyalty with cheaper prices. In fact the longer you stick with a company the higher your prices tend to go. Therefore, there is almost certainly a cheaper tariff that you can be switched on to. What’s more, once signed up switching happens seamlessly without any interruption in your energy supply.
In the UK it is uncommon to experience unexpected energy supply problems. Therefore, once you are signed up you rarely if ever need to contact your supplier. This means price should be the main criteria when finding the best supplier for you.
The energy companies vary the amount that they charge to their customers. This depends largely on the property’s location and the amount that they sell in your area. They also take into account the amount that they pay themselves for the energy.
All gas and electricity comes through the same grid. Customer service is essentially the only difference between what suppliers offer. However, apart from when signing up to a company, or switching away from them, there is little or no need to interact with them. Therefore, to find the best energy supplier for your home the main thing to look our for is prices. This is particularly the case if you have a company like Switchd communicating with the suppliers for you.
Finding the Best Energy Supplier for your home: getting started
When trying to find the best supplier to switch to it is important to know who your current energy supplier is. You can find out this information from a recent bill. If you don’t have a bill or have recently moved in, however, help is at hand.
For your gas, you can use the Meter Point Administration Service – either online or by calling 0870 608 1524 (this will cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).
To find out who your electricity supplier is, you can get in touch with the Energy Networks Association. Here you can find contact numbers for local distribution companies in each area of the UK. They can help you out if you contact them.
It is also a good idea to know approximately what your energy consumption is. This can be found on a past energy bill. If you don’t have one, no worries – most energy websites can estimate it for you.
Knowing the answers to these questions would also be useful:
- Do you have a smart meter?
- If you are renting who pays the bills? If it is your landlord you will need to ask them about switching.
- Does your current tariff have an exit fee?
How to Compare and Change your Energy Supplier
When you know who your current suppliers are and know the tariffs that you’re on, you can compare and change your supplier. For this you have two main options.
You could find a new supplier yourself via a comparison website that shows you tariff rates for your home. Then you can go through their system to switch to a different supplier. They will contact your old supplier and advise them that you are switching. The issue here is that comparison website will only switch you to tariffs that pay them a commission. Therefore, you are probably not being switched to the cheapest tariff!
The other option is to use an energy switching service such as Switchd. Switchd will search through all of the available suppliers for your area, find out who has the best price and automatically switch you to them. Switchd searches suppliers daily to enable the best energy prices for your home. Once a switch is conducted, you will have 14 days to tell Switchd if you want it be reversed – free of charge. At Switchd, we do not only look at tariffs that pay commission – we look at the whole market. This ensures that you are on the cheapest rate available. On average this saves you £116 more per year than comparison websites!
Can I switch if I am renting?
If you are a tenant – you have every right to change your energy supplier. It is worth, however, checking your rental agreement to make sure your landlord doesn’t have a preferred supplier. If they do, it doesn`t mean that you can’t switch, but you should contact them first. You might have to return to the original supplier when you move out.
If your landlord pays your energy bill and then charges you, you don’t have the right to change. It is worth having a chat with your landlord or agency, however, to try to persuade them to change.
If you have a pre-paid meter – you are allowed to change it to a normal meter – but you might need to change it back at the end of your tenancy.
How often can I switch?
You can switch as often as you like. However, if you are on a fixed term contract you might incur extra charges. However, if you are within 42 days of the tariff ending then these charges won’t apply and you are free to switch. Although extra charges are annoying, they can often be less than the saving that you would make by switching. Therefore, even if you are outside of this 42 day window it is worth checking.
If you are on a standard variable tariff you should be able to switch whenever you like, and as often as you like.
What if I have just moved home?
If you have just moved into a new house – you should contact the current supplier and tell them that you’ve just moved in (and advise the supplier at your old house that you are moving out). Take an accurate meter reading so that there are no errors on your first bill. You can only change your supplier from the day that you move in, so you may have to pay at least one bill from the old supplier.
So should you switch? Ensure you are with the best energy supplier for you
Most likely. Most people are paying more than they need to for energy, especially if they have been with the same supplier for a long time. It is quick to switch, and remember – when switching it happens seamlessly. You won’t be left without energy for even a second! You can switch to the best energy supplier yourself or through services like Switchd which can help you save even more! Click here to find out how much Switchd can save you today.