One of the best ways to free up some cash when you’re on a tight budget is to cut back on what you spend on your core bills. That’s your rent or mortgage, your internet and your energy bills, to name a few.
And that’s exactly what more of us are doing, according to Ofgem stats that show more of us are switching energy suppliers. The research shows that the number of switchers last year was the highest it had been in six years – and this is down to people looking to save on their bills.
Let’s take a look at how difficult it is to switch your energy provider and what you could really save.
Why people switch energy supplier
Ofgem found that some 7.7 million energy bills switched to a different provider last year, so they could move to a cheaper tariff. This is the main reason that people look to move suppliers as Ofgem said that switchers could have saved £200 by moving.
This comes after the news that 77 fixed energy deals are set to run out by the end of April. The figures from Ofgem show that consumers are sending a clear message to energy providers: if they can get a better price somewhere else, they’ll switch.
But not everyone is making the most of the cheaper energy deal available. According to the research, half of households have never switched supplier. So if you’re one of them, we’ll take you through how you could move your gas and electricity bills.
Is it difficult to switch?
At the moment, it takes around three weeks to switch to a new energy provider. It’s not a difficult process by any means: all you need to do is find a new deal, get the new provider to set up the switch and let your old supplier know. You can do this online, through a price comparison site or by ringing the new supplier directly.
Three weeks is quite a long time to wait but switching shouldn’t affect your gas and electricity supply. You shouldn’t have to pay any exit fees to leave either, unless you’re still on a fixed-price tariff. If you are, you’ll have to wait until this ends or pay a fee to leave.
How to save on your bills
Take a look on price comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket or uSwitch to see what fixed-price deals are available for your gas and electricity. Compare these bills separately as well as looking a dual fuel tariffs – this is when you have one bill for gas and electricity.
You might find that fixed price energy tariffs aren’t necessarily the cheapest bills available – you could pay less on a variable rate. But the clue’s in the name – with a variable rate, the price you pay per unit of energy can change. If you fix the price of your energy bills, it will make it easier to budget for.
And even if you’re renting, you can still get a better deal on your gas and electricity bills. Find out how you can change energy supplier if you’re a tenant.