Have you ever switched energy provider? You could save a bundle
Published 25 June 2014 by Hayley Cox
Simply switching your energy provider could save you hundreds of pounds – and planned changes to the switching process could make it quicker and easier to do.
Switching energy provider is about to get a little easier, so if you’ve never done it before, now could be the time to get the ball rolling.
If you’re a regular switcher you’ll already know you can save a tidy bundle by regularly taking advantage of the best deals on the market. But if you’ve never switched before you could be missing out – to the tune of hundreds of pounds, according to some estimates.
According to a report by the energy regulator Ofgem, the average gas and electricity consumer could stand to save between £200 and £300 per year if they switch to the best available tariff. However, despite this potential to make a saving, two-thirds of energy customers have never switched their supplier.
One reason for this may be that people simply think it’s too complicated to change their energy tariff and supplier and get a new one – but that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s easy to switch utilities – you just have to compare the deals available to you, pick one and make the switch. But while it is often a quick and easy process at your end, it can be a pretty lengthy one overall.
Making things quicker
At the moment, it can take up to five weeks for you to switch energy supplier, which includes a two-week cancellation period. The fact it can take so long to see results may be what’s putting off some customers from changing in the first place.
Now Ofgem has proposed slashing the time it takes to complete the switch to three days plus a fortnight’s cooling off period. The plans are currently set to be put in motion from December 31st.
That’s not the end of it either – Ofgem says it ultimately wants next-day switching to be in place, and adds that it hopes this will be introduced by no later than 2018 once new systems and smart meters are in place to facilitate this.
The thing is, switching energy supplier often ends up being one of those jobs that, while on your to-do list, you just keep putting off. So, why should you switch?
Well, the main reason is the money. If you save the maximum of £300 in a year, that really is a big sum of cash. You could put it towards a holiday, treat yourself to a weekend away, pay for home improvements or simply save it for a rainy day.
Even if you only save a couple of pounds a month it all adds up. And if you’re one of those people who rushes to switch the heating off after an hour even in mid-winter because you’re worried about bills, this saving could help you to relax.
If you have a thinkmoney account, you can speak with your Money Manager* about switching your energy supplier. Why not find out how much you could save?
*thinkmoney accounts, for which fees are payable, ring-fences money needed for regular commitments, like bills and savings, and come with a 'Money Manager' service to help customers to manage their accounts. Customers are offered advice on switching utilities by Money Saving Team.