With gas and electricity bills on the rise again, you might be interested to know whether it is worth switching to a cheaper provider or price plan.
Are you the kind of person who is always hunting around for the best deal on your gas and electricity, or stays put when they find a deal they like? Here we have found and listed the ten best deals right now so that you can see how much money you could be saving if you switched. On the flip side, we will also consider ways that you can still save cash even without switching provider (although it must be said that switching is now easier than ever).
Why Switching Could Save You Money
The government energy regulator, Ofgem, has recently announced that over 6 million UK households are on British Gas' 'standard variable' rate tariffs. It has confirmed that just under 75% of these customers could be saving up to £129 a year by switching to one of its cheaper price plans or by changing provider altogether. By switching to one of the smaller and cheaper energy providers, customers could find themselves far better off. A 'standard variable’ rate tariff is the price plan that a customer is automatically put on if they do not request a specific energy plan. Deceivingly advertised as 'standard', it's normal these tariffs that are the most expensive. Be sure to do your research before setting up your gas and electricity bills rather than leaving it to the company to make suggestions.
If you are one of the many customers out there who has never switched gas or electricity suppliers, you could be looking at some huge savings by going elsewhere. In fact, most people could be cutting their bills down by around £300-400 due to the large suppliers launching new tariffs to match those being offered by smaller providers. Savings may not be as inviting as they have been in previous years, but every penny counts.
Who are the 'Big Six'?
The 'big six' energy providers in the UK are what can be described as the largest energy suppliers of gas and electricity to millions of homes and businesses in Britain. British Gas, owned by Centrica, are currently the UK's leading energy provider with around 20 million customers across the country. With over 9.5 million customers, SSE comes in second in the rank. Next, with 6.5 million customers, is npower which is owned by RWE. The remaining three, with between 5 and 6 million customers each, are EDF Energy, E.ON UK and Scottish Power.
What are the Alternatives?
There are now a range of alternatives to the 'big six', with just some recent entrants being Ovo Energy, Good Energy, Ecotricity, Flow Energy, Spark Energy, iSupply Energy and Co-operative Energy.
Saving Money Without Switching
If, however, you're not keen on changing provider for whatever reason, there are ways that you can still save yourself some money. Firstly, speak to your provider about switching to monthly direct debits, which means you will pay an equal estimate twelve times during the year. In most cases, if you overpay, you will be refunded automatically. It might also be worth switching to online bills if you haven't already, as going paperless could save you around 10% of your usual payment.
With lots of free services on offer like cavity wall insulation and boiler replacements, you could be in with a chance to save energy thus saving yourself some cash in the process. Another way to get the best deal on your gas and electricity without changing providers is by simply finding their own cheapest tariff and requesting you be moved to that price plan. Finally, why not try researching ways that you can save energy in your everyday life and adopt these going forward.