Friday, 6 March 2015

You have the Power To Switch

Energy suppliers. Yeah, I know, it's not exactly a scintillating topic is it? Or so I thought.

Like an awful lot of people, I didn't really give my gas and electricity suppliers much thought.  I groaned each quarter when the bill came through the door.  The groans began to get louder and louder in line with my bills getting larger and larger until eventually I decided I should do something about it.

Until then I was paralysed with apathy.  It just wasn't high on my agenda.  I thought that switching suppliers was going to be a nightmare task, taking hours and hours trawling through websites trying to make sense of a baffling array of tariffs.  I assumed the process of transferring would take ages and result in many frustrating on-hold calls to various telephone call centres. I thought that it would probably all go horribly wrong and I'd get some ridiculously incorrect bill through with lots of noughts on the end.

It turned out, I couldn't have been more wrong.

Since we moved into our home about 4 years ago, we'd been with one of the 'Big Six' on a duel fuel tariff.  Last year I was lucky enough to win a competition, the prize was a year's supply of green electricity (you can't get more money-saving than that!).  This was the impetus to change our gas supply since we obviously needed to leave our current company providing electricity to take up the prize, and since we no longer qualified for a duel fuel rate, I thought we may as well shop around.

Well, literally 10 minutes on a comparison website, and I'd found a brand new gas company who could offer me a saving of over £70 per quarter!  All I had to do was type in my postcode and some figures from my latest bill and the comparison site did the rest for me.


I was staggered at the saving, but still fairly reticent about changing.  The instructions were straightforward though so I continued.  It really was as easy as ABC.  We had to provide a couple of meter readings and that was pretty much it.  We got a letter from the old supplier to confirm our final reading, then a letter from the new supplier welcoming us and that was that.

The money we've saved over the year on our gas bills has paid for a family half-term holiday, and I know what I'd rather spend our cash on!

Simple.  Honestly.  Really simple.

I've been banging on about it ever since.

And in fact, since I moved company, it's become even faster with switching times down to just 17 days.  Which means in just that short space of time you could be saving money on your bills every month - many households could save around £200 by switching.

There's 27 companies now supplying energy.  This has really shaken up the market, with the main firms no longer holding a monopoly.  The savings are being passed on to you the consumer, so it's time to get out there and claim them.

My top tips for switching supplier

  • Visit www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com for links to Ofgem approved comparison sites.
  • Decide what's important to you - is it just about saving money, or do you want great customer service, do you want green energy?
  • Have your latest bills handy so you can input the figures.
  • Keep all email correspondence about the switch in a separate folder.
  • Keep a record of your final meter readings, or better still take a photo of it.
  • If customer service is important to you, many comparison sites have a review section where you can read how customers rate the service.
  • Use the opportunity to take up more money-saving incentives like paperless billing, free smart meters and direct debit payment if you don't already.
  • After your switch, remember to contact your old supplier and ask for a refund if you have any credit with them.
  • Even if you have termination clauses, it's still worth comparing your tariff - you may find the savings outweigh the fee you have to pay to exit.
  • Do you know anyone who's not as internet-savvy that you could offer to help with this process? Many older people are missing out on savings because they don't use the internet.
  • Finally, you've got nothing to lose by checking even if you decide not to switch.




Disclosure:

I'm working with BritMums and DECC alongside the #PowertoSwitch campaign. I have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com for more information about switching energy suppliers.

34 comments:

  1. This is amazing - I'm definitely going to look into this to see if we can save money by switching suppliers. Thank you!

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    1. Oh yes, do! Let me know how much you save. x

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  2. I try to check every so often. It's worth checking sometimes even if you are tied into a deal.

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    1. Absolutely, the savings can often outweigh the exit fee.

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  3. I wonder if there is a similar program available is the USA... We have an all electric car (our current contribution to less pollution).
    I came to your site from Pinterest for a cork craft! :)
    ~Lee
    pocketmousepublishing.com

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    1. Hi Lee, thanks for visiting.

      So you know, I'm not sure, but I'm sure there must be. Hope you find what you're looking for x

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  4. Good advice - we check every so often. It's also important to check they haven't estimated your bills as we were paying far more than we needed to!

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    1. That's very true Kate. Our supplier lets us submit readings online now which is great if you never happen to be in when the meter reader comes round!

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  5. Great advice! This is something I have been thinking about but sadly my hands are tied as we cant change supplier as its the preferred supplier according to housing association x

    http://angelahamilton2014.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. Brilliant advice - I always think it's worth checking every now and again.

    Even a small saving is better in your pocket x x

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    1. Exactly! Better in your pocket than someone else's!

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  7. Like you, I just feel as though I can't be bothered! We're with British Gas for both and I've always thought the energy suppliers were all the same, roughly! I will take your advice and do some comparisons!

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    1. Oooh no! We were on the same and have save so much money! Definitely worth checking.

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  8. We are regular switchers. Often the existing company will price match

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    1. I didn't expect anything less Jen ;0)

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  9. What great advice I am terrible at switching energy supplies will look into it to get the best price.

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    1. Hope you find some good savings x

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  10. I switched last year and saved so much money!

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  11. Really really good advice there, we haven't ever switched which is possibly not the best idea.

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    1. Oh take a look into it, I bet you could be much better off.

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  12. I keep saying I will do this, but never do x

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    1. There's no excuse! It's so quick to do. x

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  13. Keep meaning to do this and keep putting it off thinking it's going to be a real hassle! It's seems it's not. Sounds nice and simple.

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  14. Some great tips for changing energy suppliers

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  15. Wow, that is a huge saving....I am always a bit nervous too. We are moving soon so I must do the research, thanks

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  16. Excellent tips and I need to do this too, since we moved in I haven't bothered to even look if I'd save money so best I go check. Commenting for myself and BritMums, thanks for taking part.

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  17. I have been meaning to do this for months! i need to sort ours we are paying over the odds big time!

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  18. I really do need to do this, it's been on my to do list for ages but assumed it would be a hassle

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  19. I REALLY need to do this - it's on my long to-do llist but this makes me realise how much I need to do it!

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  20. Awesome post Liz! So many home owners put off switching energy providers- i think deep down we all know that there are endless savings to be made but because of the, shall we say horror stories that we so easily hear about customers being bullied into staying, we put it off and choose to suffer in silence. Hopefully your post is going to light a fire under many people! - Gillian. Community Windpower

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