Comparing Energy Markets
Why is it important to compare the energy market? Quite simply to save yourself money! It’s reported that around 50% of households can save approximately £345.00 on their fuel bills each year by switching their energy provider.
It’s vital that you check you are achieving the best possible deal for your electric and gas. If you haven’t checked online, do it today and start to save money! If you can save on average £345.00 per year on your dual fuel tariff why are you not doing it, it literally takes just five minutes to compare energy tariffs. All you need to do is enter your details and complete an energy quote. The energy comparison company will give you the best deal.
Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) regulate and oversee all companies in the UK who operate the electricity and gas networks. Ofgem have announced that it’s more convenient and a reliable method to use an energy comparison site, to find the latest competitive electric and gas deals available.
There are currently 64 suppliers, proposing efficient energy deals to compete with each other. It’s so easy to compare electricity and gas cheap deals and it’s recommended that all home owners should be doing this at least twice a year. You can begin to save money on your energy bills now, so switch today, it makes sense. By comparing energy sites twice a year it gives you the best possible options of switching to a cheaper provider. The choice of sites you can visit will give you a comprehensive guide as to which electricity and gas provider you can to go with. These comparison sites do receive a fee every time a home owner switches provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the cheapest energy provider?
The tariffs and prices fluctuate constantly as the market is so competitive. This is good news for the home owner as the energy providers fight it out and we get the best fuel deals possible. Of course the way to play off the fuel providers is to move constantly between the Big Six providers. But, let’s not forget the smaller energy suppliers who are trying to get their foot in the energy market, and they can, and do offer competitive rates.
So, who is the cheapest energy provider? You need to look daily but as the market fluctuates, it remains difficult to say. Before your current tariff ends you must not let your tariff slip from a fixed period contract to a variable one. If it does, this will cost you and be one of the most expensive energy moves you can make. Therefore, keep an eye on your tariffs and when they end, and decide if you want to change or not. You can set up alerts with a comparison site and they will inform you of the best deals at that moment in time.
Who is the best energy provider?
That’s the million dollar question isn’t it! Is the best energy supplier the one that offers the cheapest tariffs? Is it the most environmentally friendly? Or is it the supplier you has the best ratings? What are you looking for in an energy provider? The choice is yours and what is important to you. Again, what you must remember is, the constant changes in the energy market. That’s why it’s vital you check the comparison sites often, to see the changes and updates. What updates to the energy market can you see? New developments and changes for the better, especially with greener energy sources (sunlight, wind, water, plants and geothermal heat). New tariffs to entice new customers to change provider and a change in ratings.
Should I change my electricity provider?
By switching your electricity supplier you will save money each year it’s as simple as that! However, there are times you could possibly just need to move supplier because your current energy provider may not be meeting your particular needs. Your energy provider may not be giving you all the information you need on your usage for example. The customer service they provide isn’t adequate enough for you, it could be poor service or you may never be able to get through to them. Possibly, their green energy sources are poor, or you may want to change to a smart meter and they don’t supply them.
What is a dual fuel tariff?
A dual fuel tariff is when one energy supplier provides your electricity and gas. You don’t have different suppliers for your gas and electric and usually, having one supplier for your energy bills is cheaper and more convenient. For a start it cuts down on the paperwork and you just need to make one phone call if you have any issues with your gas, electricity or bills. Do I need a dual fuel tariff? No, it’s not necessary to have a dual fuel tariff, it’s easier and usually more cost effective.
Can you switch electricity provider if you’re a tenant?
Yes, tenants can switch electricity suppliers as long as they have their names on the billing account and pay their energy bills themselves. If however, their landlord pays the energy bills for the tenant this will not be possible. Some tenants have all inclusive bills or the landlord re-bills the tenant for their energy usage, if this is the case, the landlord will choose the energy provider. You are within your rights to ask your landlord to change to the provider of your choice, but the landlord retains the right to do so or not. If the landlord agrees for you to change energy provider, you may do so for the term of your tenancy. But, be aware the landlord could ask you to switch back to their preferred energy supplier at the end of your tenancy.
Can you switch if you’re on a fixed rate tariff?
You can switch energy provider if you are on a fixed rate contract but, you need to check with your current provider if there is a leaving fee or exit fee for early release. You will need to check whether it’s worth you making the switch depending on what the exit fee is. Potentially, it may not be worth the switch especially if you’re switching only to save money. The good news is, you will be made aware of a fee before you decide to go ahead and change energy supplier. The extra good news is, you are able to switch energy provider for free providing, you do so 49 days before the end of your current contract. If you adhere to the 49 days before the end of your current contract, there will be no fee.
This is where Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) standards of conduct come into play. Energy providers must give a minimum of 42 days’ notice before your current contract ends. This gives you seven days where you can decide if you want to remain loyal to your current energy supplier or you want to change. You must have made your decision up to day 49 before your tariff ends and you won’t be charged a leaving fee.
Can you switch if you have a pre-payment meter?
Yes, you can switch electricity provider if you have a pre-payment meter. Home owners and tenants are able to do this. Once again, if you are a tenant your landlord could ask you to switch back to the provider of their choice at the end of your tenancy agreement. You may want to remain on your pre-payment meter but switch electricity provider, you can do this. The majority of energy providers have pre-payment tariff options available for customers. However, you may find pre-payment meter tariff options limited, as they are more costly than standard meters.
If you decide to switch to a standard meter to give you more options of energy suppliers, you may find it more desirable. The benefits of switching to a standard meter will give you more choices of tariffs. As standard meters are more commonly used by energy providers, you will certainly see more offers and competitive rates being offered. Using a standard meter means it’s easier to switch and compare suppliers often. It can be costly if you switch from a pre-payment meter to a standard meter. However, if you go with one of the Big Six energy suppliers, they could potentially switch you free of charge. There may be credit criteria you need to meet.
What is an Economy 7 meter?
The beauty of Economy 7 meters are the different rates for electricity during the day and night. You will need a special meter for this. Off peak refers to the 7 hours of the day where the rates are cheaper. Whatever electricity is used outside of these 7 hours, will be charged at a higher rate.
What is an Economy 10 meter?
They are very similar to Economy 7 meters where you have different rates for day and night. Off peak refers to the 10 hours of the day where the rates are cheaper. Electricity used outside of these 10 off peak hours, will be charged at a much higher rate.
Moving house – how do you switch electricity and gas?
This is an excellent opportunity to review your deal with your energy supplier. If you are happy with your current energy provider you can take it with you to your new home. All you need to do is tell your current supplier your new address and you’re moving in date. You will also need to ask the current owners of your new home which provider they use. On the day you move take the meter reading of your old house and give it to your provider. You need to take your meter reading in any case so you will not be billed when the new owners move in. You will get a final bill for your old address.
As soon as you move in to your new home take the meter reading and give it to the current energy supplier so you will not be paying any energy used by the previous home owner. If you are looking to switch your energy provider, its worth speaking to the energy supplier of your new home, they could offer you a great deal to stay with them.
If you have solar panels can you switch your feed in tariff?
Yes you can switch provider, however Ofgem sets the charges for feed in tariffs so you probably won’t see a difference in price.
If I switch energy supplier will my electric be cut off?
You don’t need to worry about your electricity being cut off whilst you switch supplier. Energy provider’s work together to ensure a smooth transaction. Remember, that although the suppliers are different the cables are not changed in to your property.
When I compare the energy providers, what information do I need at hand?
• Get your last bill/statement
• Who is your current supplier?
• What is your current tariff called?
• What is your current usage? – kWh – price – each month/year?
• What date does your tariff end?
• How will you pay for your energy bills?
If I switch electricity supplier what do I need to do?
After comparing the sites and you have decided who you want to switch you, you can pick your tariff and your new energy supplier will do the rest. They will inform your existing supplier and arrange a date for the switch. You will be given a 14 day cooling off period just in case you change your mind. You will receive all details in the post/email, simply check the details are correct. On switch day take the final meter reading.
How can you cut down your energy usage?
• Take a shower and not a bath
• Use energy saving bulbs
• Turn off lights when you’re not in the room
• Don’t use a tumble drier
If you take these steps and check energy comparison sites often, you will save money!