Top tips on switching energy supplier
As the winter chill well-and-truly kicks in, millions of homes will be firing up their radiators to keep their homes toasty. And with energy bills jumping up in response, many will be thinking about switching energy suppliers.
Here are some insider tips that will help you save even more when you make the switch.
Work out your real usage before switching
All direct debit tariffs will charge a direct debit that doesn’t exactly match your usage, as they don’t necessarily know your exact usage per month.
It’s really important that when you switch, you work out your real usage rather than going on your direct debit amount. Otherwise you can end up with a quote that’s miles off what you’ll actually end up paying. Before switching, work out your usage based on your meter readings and use that data to calculate the best deal.
Don’t be afraid to pay exit fees
It never feels good to pay exit fees – it feels a bit like you’re paying a load of money for nothing in return. However, exit fees in the energy industry are nowhere near as exorbitant as they are in other industries.
Many suppliers will charge £25 to £50 per fuel to leave them (with some charging nothing), and the savings by switching away early will often dwarf the fee. At Switchd, we take exit fees into account in our savings estimates and find that most people will save more by switching 6-9 months into their contract, rather than waiting until the end.
Don’t wait until the final day of your contract to switch
Not willing to pay exit fees? You can still save more by switching earlier. You can switch away from your current deal a full 49 days before the end of your contract without any exit fees. This could save you a decent amount if there’s another, much better deal on the market from someone else.
See a good deal? Snap it up straight away
If you see a good deal, we recommend that you go for it straight away. There is a 2-week grace period on any switch, which means that absolutely nothing will change for this period. If you change your mind or see a better deal during this period, just cancel your switch and lock in the better deal.
Make sure you’re on the right meter
This might seem like a weird one, but it can make a real difference to how much you spend on your energy. This is especially important if you only use electricity, due to the availability of Economy 7 meters.
Economy 7 meters are suited to people whose energy usage is higher at night than in the day. This could be because you’re often out of the house in the daytime, or if you have things like storage heaters or a boiler that is never on in the daytime.
Craig Ede is head of customer service at Switchd, the automated energy switching service
Click here to read the YourMoney.com guide to switching energy supplier