January is always a time where people think about their finances, and wanting to get the year off to a good start. January payday always seems such a long time away, after an earlier payday in December before Christmas! With all the expense of the holidays, January seems to be a time where lots of people want to batten down the hatches and try to spend as little as possible.
One of the easiest ways to save some money and reduce your outgoings is to look at your energy bills. Energy bills are normally a fixed expense for every household, with a direct debit going out each month for a set amount. The only problem with this is that, because it just goes from your bank account, it can often be forgotten about.
But, it pays to check to see if you can get a better deal!
I recently came across Ofgem’s Be an Energy Shopper, which gives you lots of information and access to check your energy tariff to see if you can get a better deal for your own circumstances. In fact, they have a useful page where it lists all the energy comparison sites you can use to check. I didn’t realise there were so many! There are a couple of sites that I had heard of before, and have used to check our own energy tariff, but there are many more than that. Any one of these can be used to check your current energy tariff and also check to see if you could change and get a better deal.
Changing your energy tariff is easy, much easier than I thought it would be!
All you need is your current energy tariff, your unit rates, a rough idea of your energy consumption (which will be on your latest bill) and then any exit fees or additional charges that you are aware of. You can then use all of this information to check whether what you have is the best deal for your household.
Another very helpful page on Be an Energy Shopper is the ‘Understanding your energy bills’ page. Energy bills can often have lots of confusing jargon on there, which can make them difficult to understand and process. This page goes through what to expect on your energy bills statement and what that actually means. This will be useful if you are trying to change your energy supplier, as you have all the information you need at your fingertips!
Once you have all of the information you need, you can then input all of this on one of the energy comparison sites listed, and see if you can get a better deal. If you can, then get the ball rolling! Ring up your current energy supplier and ask to see if they can match the better deal. Companies don’t want you to leave, so they might be able to match the new deal you’ve found.
If your current supplier can’t match the new deal, then it’s time to move on. Tell them you’d like to leave, and why, and then the process begins.
When we changed to our current energy supplier, the process was very straight forward. Mr FC is very good at checking regularly for the best deals and sometimes you can stay with the same company but change your tariff at the same company, which is what we did last time. When we used the comparison site, it came up with a better tariff with the energy company we were actually using at the time. One quick phone call and we were changed to a better tariff which means we were over £40 a month better off.
Changing your energy deal and/or supplier doesn’t have to be a scary process. You just need a few bits of information so that you can ensure you are getting the best deal. All of that information will be on your latest energy bill, whether that’s a paper copy sent in the post or once you’ve logged into your account online.
If you are confused with any of the information you might need or where to begin, then Be an Energy Shopper is definitely the best place to start. It’s easy to read and has lots of helpful information on there to help you get the best deal for you!
What’s the best saving on your energy bill you’ve managed? Was it easy to do?
This post is in collaboration with Ofgem.