Savvy consumers should check that they are on the best tariff from the cheapest energy supplier at least every year or after any market changing event.
The energy suppliers count on you not doing this to boost their profits; it is up to you to make sure that they don’t get away with this.
Here are our top tips to help you slash your energy bills.
- Use a price comparison site
There are a number of price comparison sites available to help you reduce your utility bills. One example is Money Supermarket which will now help you reduce the cost of your utilities.
- Save money without switching provider
Changing your energy provider is a hassle, but you can still save by ensuring that you are on the best tariff from your existing provider. All that is needed is a quick call to make the switch and start saving. For example did you know that if you pay monthly by direct debit most providers will give you a 10% discount, many also have Internet only tariffs that often provide an additional 10% discount.
- Meter Readings
You should provide the energy company with accurate electricity and gas meter readings on a regular basis and correct estimates if they are used on your bill. You don’t want to get any nasty surprises in the future if they have been underestimating and you don’t really want the utility companies to be earning interest on your hard earned cash.
Having accurate data on your electricity and gas usage will also remove the guesswork when choosing the cheapest provider when using price comparison websites.
- Dual Fuel
If you are not getting your gas and electricity from the same provider then you should really switch to a dual fuel tariff as it will often be cheaper.
If you or anybody living with you is over 60, you can get a fixed tariff not based on usage for the whole year from Eon called Stay Warm. Although this sounds attractive, it may not be the cheapest option and you still need to compare it with other energy providers.
- Cut your Energy Usage
This may seem obvious but the easiest way to reduce your bills is to cut your energy consumption. Things that you can do include using energy saving light bulbs, lagging your hot water tank, installing double-glazing and loft insulation. The Energy Saving Trust has loads of practical advice.
- Capping your Energy Bills
A number of providers have started providing capped utility bills because of the rapid increases in gas and electricity prices in 2012. These are less attractive in 2013 as prices are starting to come down. If you are already on one of these capped rates, don’t forget to take any exit fee into account when using price comparison websites.