Changing energy supplier could save your household as much as £337 per year according to figures by uSwitch. Imagine being able to save over £28 a month in just 20 minutes!
Changing Energy Supplier
I’m not that old (well…) and when I moved into my first house in 2004, Gas and Electricity prices weren’t really a consideration. We just stuck with the energy supplier that was already there and paid the standard price. According to uSwitch the last 15 years has seen energy prices rocket by as much as 151%
So, where do you start?
First, find a copy of your most recent bill. On this, you should find the tariff that you’re currently on. If it’s a standard tariff, it will be easy to save money. Even if it’s not, there is a good chance that there’s a cheaper energy supplier out there.
Next, to get a more accurate picture, you need to see if you can find your annual usage. Don’t be too concerned about understanding the meaning of kWh, it’s basically a unit of measurement. All we’re after is your figure. In my case, I use 3,748 for electricity and 8,919 for gas. Don’t worry if you can’t find these figures, it is possible to compare prices using just your monthly payment. And if you get really stuck, you could always give your energy provider a call or send them an email asking for the figures.
Here is a copy of my bill from First Utility.
An important thing to look at is the TCR – or Tariff Comparison Rate. The lower the number, the better for you. Most companies charge you two different amounts – a unit amount and a standing charge. The unit amount is the cost to you for using electricity or gas.The standing charge is an amount you pay each day regardless. For example, if your standing charge for electricity is 10p a day and you went away on holiday, you will still pay £3 per month, even if you didn’t use anything.
When ready, head over to uSwitch or/and Confused. You’ll need to enter your postcode (prices do vary across the UK) and email address. Then you just enter as many details as you can and see the results. They will show you a host of energy providers and the cost to you. Then, it’s just a case of choosing a new supplier via a link and entering your details. Everything else is done for you.
You can’t always complete a switch through the comparison site. Some of the smaller companies will only let you swap if you go directly through them. The comparison site will tell you this though.
How long does changing energy supplier take?
Ideally, a switch should take no more than 17 days but normally takes about three weeks. And you have 14 days to cancel if you change your mind.
And don’t forget to check out cashback sites too. They sometimes offer you money back if you start a switch through them. Find out more about cashback sites.
The only caveat to all this is to check you’re not currently on a fixed contract. Most companies will charge you £30 per fuel to leave if there is more than 49 days before your contract finishes. However, if potential savings are much bigger, it may still be worth paying the charge.
And for those privileged British Gas customers, take a look at my step-by-step guide to switching away from them.
Would like to know more about cutting energy bills?