Ever since the government pushed through deregulation in the energy and utilities consumer markets, households have had the ability to choose who supplies their gas and electricity. And there are many providers to choose from when you compare energy prices to find the best ones, from the original corporate giants to the newer and nimbler companies specialising in niche offerings such as green tariffs.
However, simply opening up the market hasn’t magically made it possible for every household to get the best deals and keep their bills as low as possible. In fact, many households are paying over the odds and missing out on some of the best tariffs. This is partly because of customer apathy and partly because of a lack of knowledge about what’s available.
There is also the problem that there are an astoundingly huge number of tariffs on offer and it can be very difficult to know that you’re getting the right one. For this reason, a lot of people find themselves on the default standard tariff, which will usually be more expensive than the better promoted deals. This is comparable to having a mortgage and forgoing the promotional offers to remain on the standard variable rate.
Happily, however, there are ways in which you can easily find out which deals are best and organise a switch. Price-comparison websites provide you with the tools you need. You simply register your details and either an estimated figure for consumption or actual figures taken from your recent utility bills. The actual figures are the most useful in making an accurate comparison but you can just say whether you’re a low, medium or high energy user as an indication. You can then select the category of tariffs you wish to see. They can be grouped by price or you could highlight green tariffs if you’re interested in the renewable vs fossil fuel debate, for example.
The results will bring up the cheapest offers for your circumstances and explain how much you are likely to save per annum compared to your current tariff. Even better, you can then organise the switch directly online, via the price-comparison website. The process should be quick and simple and be completed in a few weeks. Your current supplier will take closing readings and the new supplier will take new ones. You will then settle your account accordingly and start to take advantage of your new better rate.