Gas and Electricity Tariffs
What makes a good energy supplier? Is it really the cheapest one? Or does it make sense to choose the one that offers the best service, gives the best support, and has a good reputation? The reality is that switching electricity suppliers is really quite easy and fast and brings great potential advantages in terms of saving. However, it may also help to speed up the transition to sustainable and renewable energy (based upon which tariff you shift to).
The easiest way of going about this process
is via a price comparison website. Simply type in the details of your current gas or electricity supplier in a comparison box and click on the button ‘Find prices’. This will then produce a list of companies with whom you can negotiate. Before going ahead, however, ensure that you are aware of any tariffs that could be attached to your current deal. There are many tariffs for gas and electricity that could increase in price soon. Find out what you are paying now, as compared to what you would be paying with a different tariff.
Before proceeding further
you may also want to check out the different tariff deals that are currently available in the market. Many suppliers will offer different tariffs for new customers, so if you are moving home shortly and have unmetered energy consumption requirements, it may make sense to buy a fixed tariff plan from the start. In the longer term, if you become more experienced in electricity and gas switching, you can look into the possibility of changing to a new supplier who may give you more favorable rates, even if they are a different organization from your current supplier.
One thing you should be careful about when changing to a new gas
and electricity supplier is to not get drawn into hidden charges. There are a variety of different charges that can be added to your bill, and you need to find out exactly what these are. Check to see if your new energy supplier will charge an ‘introductory price’ of around two percent of your total monthly bills. Also, beware of extra costs that may be incurred at a later stage. For example, some suppliers will charge an additional connection fee for any gas or electricity that you may have to buy elsewhere in the country, in addition to other charges for their ‘one-time’ installation or equipment charges, which can end up making a significant financial burden in the long term.
Another thing that you should look out for when looking to switch energy suppliers
is whether they have a lease option available. Some energy suppliers will allow you to switch at the end of your current tariff, but most will require you to sign a three-year ‘term’ contract with them. If you decide to move on after this period, you will be required to pay reconnection fees, regardless of whether you actually live in the property or not. This can be especially problematic if you are only planning on living in the property for a short while – because you may have to leave it to move before your contract comes to an end, leaving you without all of your initial equipment and having to pay to bring it back online. Also, make sure that you do not get trapped into signing a long-term contract with the energy supplier that you do want to switch to, as it will then become necessary to change your mind again and arrange for another deal with the energy supplier.
The best way to ensure that you get the best value for money
from your gas and electricity deals is to compare the deals that your prospective energy supplier offers against those offered by competitors. You can do this easily by using a web-based tariff comparison service. All you need to do is enter your details, and the site will quickly show you how your options are compared to those of other customers. You can also get more detailed information on the standard variable tariffs, and the benefits that come with using these types of deals, to ensure that you really are getting the best deal for your money.