Why compare energy prices
Electricity providers buy power from wholesalers and then sell it on to consumers – like you and me. When wholesale prices go up, retailers react by increasing the rates we pay.
Since 2016, wholesale prices have been gradually rising, and there is a good chance they will continue to do so, at least until we know the effects of Brexit and related trade agreements.
Still, just because prices are creeping up, doesn’t mean they are equal between providers. Shopping around can help consumers get the best deals available, and offset the increasing wholesale costs with retail savings.
What does switching suppliers involve
It is quick and easy to change your electricity provider. First, compare providers and rates on www.Comparetosave.co.uk, then you contact the new supplier and they take it from there.
There are some useful terms to be familiar with though:
Despite the name, this is rarely the best deal on offer, and many people choose something different. Standard tariffs change with the wholesale price of electricity, so your bill is always changing, even if you use a fairly constant amount of electricity each month.
This is an agreement to keep the per-unit cost of your electricity constant for a one- or two-year period. You may miss out on some savings if prices fall, but you will be protected against increased cost if the price of electricity rises.
This doesn’t mean that your bill will always be the same, and it doesn’t give you unlimited electricity at a set price. You will still pay for the amount of electricity you use, but the per-unit price will be fixed.
This is a special deal through which users can choose a seven-hour period – usually somewhere between the hours of 10pm and 9am – during which they get a cheaper rate on electricity. It is likely that you would pay more for any power used during the other hours of the day, but if you use most of your electricity at night or in the early morning, it may still work out to considerable savings.
It is probably the case that you can save money by buying another fuel from the same company that provides your electricity. In some cases, two companies might have such good deals on fuel that it is cheaper to buy electricity from one, and the other fuel (such as gas) from another one, but this is usually not the case.
Online Discount for managing your electricity account online
If you agree to handle your account online, saving the provider administration fees, and the costs of printing and mailing paper statements, these savings are passed on to you.
Pay by direct debit to save money
Likewise, paying by direct debit saves the provider time and money, and increases the reliability and promptness of your payments. If you set up a direct payment agreement, there are usually savings on offer.
Cancellation fees may apply
Make sure to check with your current supplier about cancellation fees. If these are higher than you r expected savings, it will probably be better to stay where you are. You might still be able to change the type of account you use though, and still get some savings.
Smart meters can help you keep a closer eye on your energy usage, so you can detect any unusual spikes in your usage (such as forgetting to turn down the heat when you are out) and take the guesswork out of billing. Each of these can save you money.
Electricity saving tips
Want a few great lifestyle tips to reduce your energy costs?
First, switch off unused appliances at the wall. Wash clothes at a lower temperature than you usually do. Don’t leave lights on in empty rooms, and use energy-efficient lightbulbs. Choose energy-efficient appliances and/or settings on your existing appliances. Minimise the use of any electric hot water system, generally these can be run for 30 mins early am and 30 mins at night to top up the hot water store (unless you are using the full cylinder each day).
Think about moving to Solar energy storage if possible. There is a significant outlay on solar panels initially, and the feed in tariff to the national grid has been reduced and reduced over the last few years but it will keep your bills down or non existant for certain!