Home > Budgeting > Could Switching Utility Providers Save You Money?

Could Switching Utility Providers Save You Money?

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 24 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Cut Costs Utility Energy Providers Green

This year has seen dramatic rises in electricity and gas bills for many British customers. Various political factors have meant that energy prices have risen, and this has been reflected both at the pumps and on our utility statements.

Life-time Commitment

In the past, like bank accounts, it was assumed that your utility providers would be with you for life. In recent years, however, the monopoly of companies such as British Gas has been reduced, and consumers have been presented with a new choice of organisations from whom they can buy their energy supplies. As a result, there is now a constant migration of customers between the major utility companies.

There are several reliable 'switching services' available for free online. These sites help you to check whether you could get a better deal elsewhere; all you need to do is provide some basic information about your energy usage, and the site will automatically calculate any savings that you could make with other providers.

Capped Pricing

Several companies are currently advertising capped pricing deals, under which your energy prices would be guaranteed not to rise for the next two years. While at face value these may seem like enticing options, they may not be the best deal. The UK is currently securing new channels through which it can import natural gas which, coupled with the fact that energy prices are still falling from their extreme peak earlier this year, will mean a likely further reduction in your utility bills. Consequently, by signing up to a capped deal (which will tie you in for two years) you may well end up spending more in a year's time than you would if you switched.

Green Concerns

Environmental concerns are beginning to inform consumers' choice of energy provider to a far greater degree. Public concern about the effects of our energy usage has led several utility providers to develop 'green' tariffs. These deals provide energy to your home which is derived from renewable sources such as wind or solar power. These tariffs are often cheaper than their non-renewable counterparts, as it is judged by the utility providers that an emphasis on green energy will represent a long-term investment for them. Some providers are offering a cash sum when you switch to them, followed by up to £60 in discounts every year.

You may also consider switching your method of payment, if you are looking to save money on your bills. Almost every provider now offers a substantial discount if you pay your bills via direct debit - some are as much as £100 per year. The downside to this, however, is that you may see unexpectedly large sums coming out of your bank account if you have had a particularly energy-intensive month. On the other hand, if you are particularly concerned about keeping track of your electricity or gas usage, you may consider having a pre-pay meter fitted. This is particularly useful if you live in shared accommodation, but you should bear in mind that pre-pay electricity is more expensive per unit than its billed equivalent.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Lib - Your Question:I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad 5he last year & half. I am now back in the UK…
    27 July 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Amy - Your Question:Im 17 years old and have 20 days until I have my baby at the moment I am getting income support but I am…
    27 July 2017
  • Lib
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad the last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am Ill &…
    27 July 2017
  • Andrew
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    hi, my son has just given up his part time job and will be unemployed for 1 month,while he waits to start his Masters in mid…
    26 July 2017
  • Lib
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    I was made redundant 3 years ago. I have been living abroad 5he last year & half. I am now back in the UK but I am I'll &…
    26 July 2017
  • Amy
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Im 17 years old and have 20 days until i have my baby at the moment i am getting income support but i am wondering if there…
    25 July 2017
  • Roxy
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    My husband has started a new job if he gets £560 a week how much will his take home be after tax?
    25 July 2017
  • MoneyExpertise
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    Sue - Your Question:I'm 60 years old the carer for my 7 yr old grandson and after 17 years of working for the same company I…
    21 July 2017
  • Ade
    Re: How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?
    @Robhattan1 - he will get a tax return if he earns below £11,500, or even if he earns above he still might have paid too much tax.
    21 July 2017
  • Sue
    Re: A Guide to Unemployment Benefits
    I'm 60 years old the carer for my 7 yr old grandson and after 17 years of working for the same company I have been offered a…
    21 July 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the MoneyExpertise website. Please read our Disclaimer.