Getting a better deal on your home energy supply has never been easier. This is because Ofgem, the energy regulator, has made important changes which are designed to make it easier to shop around and get a better energy deal.
To promote this they have launched a website that is dedicated to helping people reduce their energy bills, mainly by switching supplier. You might have seen the TV adverts about “Go Energy Shopping” too. We think that it is a great website – clear and easy to use:
They advocate a 3 step process which should allow many people to save a whopping £200 per year. It is the same old story, if you don’t change supplier often enough, they get complacent and charge you more and more each year. Only by changing supplier – or at least checking across the market – can you ensure that you are getting the lowest possible tariff for your needs.
How to Be an Energy Smart Shopper:
Use the 3 step process that Ofgem suggests, as it is simple, logical and will be effective it you follow it:
- Take Stock– this means that you need to know what you are currently using and spending. This gives you the target to beat. You can find this either by looking at past bills or some suppliers allow you to view this sort of information in an online portal. The most important things to get are:
- What you are using now – your current consumption
- Details about your tariff – it will have a name, and typically a standing charge and a unit charge.
- Check if your are locked in or if there are any charges for leaving the tariff
- Confirm how you are paying – eg, direct debit.
- Shop Around– This is the ‘leg work’! The more effort that you put in here the more likely it is that you will get a better deal. We recommend that you follow these steps:
- Check with your current supplier if they don’t have a ‘better’ (cheaper) tariff for you. We find it best to call them t as you can put them on the spot – but have a quick check on their website first so that you are familiar with the tariffs they offer.
- Shop around the other suppliers to see who can beat the best offer you have from your current supplier. The more people you speak to or the more website tariffs you check, the more likely you are to find a better deal. Use the note page provided by Ofgem to record and compare your findings.
- Use the Energy Comparison websites to help with the ‘leg work’ but don’t rely on the exclusively as they don’t always have the best tariffs. At the end of this article we have put a list of the Ofgem certified energy comparison websites.
- Take Control – At this point you are ready to make the switch! Contact your chosen supplier, generally with the lowest tariff, although you might be selecting your new supplier on other criteria such as green energy or customer service. They will manage the process, but ensure that you are ready to pay any outstanding amounts to your old supplier so as to avoid any delays. If you found your preferred tariff on an energy comparison website, they will handle the changeover.
It does seem like a lot of work, and we can’t pretend that you’ll have great fun doing this, but in a couple of hours hard work you could be saving yourself £200 per year – not too many people are on £100 per hour!!
Even if you just use the energy comparison websites, you will be able to see quickly what you are likely to save:
Ofgem Certified Energy Comparison Websites:
- Energy Helpline - energyhelpline.com
- Energylinx - energylinx.co.uk
- Money Supermarket - moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity
- My Utility Genius - myutilitygenius.co.uk
- Simply Switch - simplyswitch.com
- Switch Gas and Electric - switchgasandelectric.com
- The Energy Shop - TheEnergyShop.com
- UK Power - UKPower.co.uk
- Unravel It - Unravelit.com
- uSwitch - uSwitch.com
- Runpath - runpathdigital.com
Be an Energy Smart Shopper and make the switch now.