Switch utilities before winter
Published 19 September 2013 by Matthew Plant
Autumn is upon us and so many households are putting the heating back on and using more electricity to light their homes. But there are ways to keep energy costs down.
The nights are starting to draw in and there’s a chill in the air. It’s that time of year where we think about putting the heating on, closing the curtains and fetching an extra jumper from the back of the wardrobe.
But the change in seasons also means a change in our monthly electricity and gas bills. The colder and darker it gets, the more energy we use to heat our houses and light our rooms.
Consider this: energy industry regulator Ofgem says that the majority of gas and electricity customers have never switched providers. And a recent MoneySupermarket study shows that Britons collectively 'throw away' £3.5 billion a year by not switching to a better deal.
With this in mind, it’s important to make sure you have the best utilities contracts in place. Prices can vary dramatically between different energy providers so you should shop around to find the best deal for you.
You can do your research using price comparison and switching sites such as uSwitch. They do the work for you and can help to demystify the jargon surrounding energy products.
For example, uSwitch says that whenever you see the words ‘cheapest energy supplier’, ‘cheapest tariff’, ‘cheap gas and electric’ or ‘cheap gas and electricity’, it is usually based on a very specific type of customer. In fact, what really matters is who is the cheapest supplier for you. uSwitch can help you to run a personalised cheap gas and electric comparison to find the best gas and electricity deals.
But it is still important that you check the small print yourself. And don’t forget to consider different types of deals. For instance, would a dual fuel deal be most suitable for your circumstances or is a fixed-rate contract more appropriate?
And there are things you can do within the home to reduce your bills. The Energy Saving Trust says that many households have their central heating set higher than they need it. It recommends that you try turning your room thermostat down by one degree. Every degree that you turn it down could save you around £65 a year on your heating bill.
Similarly, remember to turn off lights and appliances in rooms that no one is using – the Energy Saving Trust says that a family could save between £50 and £90 a year just by remembering to turn things off.
If you’re already a thinkmoney customer, have a chat to one of our Money Managers. We work with uSwitch to help find you a good deal.