Friday, 3 October 2014

Our Top 9 Winter Energy Money Saving Tips

It may still be sunny and it's not yet freezing cold weather, but if you've received your latest quarterly energy bill, to borrow a phrase from Game of Thrones, you'll know - winter is coming!

As the months approach where your heating will be on full force, the energy companies adjust your bills to cover the extra energy usage. So if you're concious of saving money, it's important to ensure your energy is the cheapest it can be for the amount you use.

1) Don't ever think that "all energy companies are the same" - there are BIG differences with price and service levels. If you're prepared to switch providers then you could make savings, so it is worth investigating the tariff you're on.

2) The energy sector is extremely competitive and companies are fighting to offer you the cheapest 'fixed' price deals. It is possible to cut some bills by over £200 a year. The average usage cost varies by region and amount used, generally the cheapest fixed rate is from Extra Energy and will cost someone with typical usage £991 a year, fixed until 31st October 2015. If you were to compare that to a big six standard tariff you're looking at around £1,180. With the EDF Blue+ price promise you can get a fixed rate until 31st March 2016 at £1,040.

3) Before doing a comparison, you should understand that the cost will be different depending on where you live and what you use. The prices we've already mentioned are just averages, so you may well be below or above these consumption levels. Doing a comparison means you can not only make saving but often get cash back for switching. Log on to a comparison site, put in your location and bill info and see if you can get a better deal. Ofgem has more info at, or has a special ‘top pick fixes’ comparison.

4) The levels of service you will receive vary greatly between providers, its a VERY competitive market place, so if you're not happy switch. You're already likely to be paying a lot of money to your provider so make sure that at least the service is good.

5) Are you on an electricity-only tariff or Economy 7? Those with no gas can still get all the tariffs above – and all comparison sites allow you to compare electricity only. If you’re on Economy 7 it can be far trickier, see guide for how to work out your winner.

6) If you're moving house, most fixed rate deals you have are portable, so if you move you can take them with you.

7) If you're on a prepayment meter don't think you're locked into one provider. It's possible to switch even if you're in debt as long as its no more than £500.

8) Another way to cut costs is paying by direct debit, this knocks around £70-90 a year off your bill. The provider will estimate your annual usage and divide it by 12. It is essential to take regular meter readings to make sure you aren't overpaying though.

9) And finally don't worry if your struggling to pay the bill. Help should be available, if you're seriously behind with your payments act immediately before the higher winter energy bills kick in. British Gas, EDF and Npower and several other providers often give grants to help people who're struggling.

No comments:

Post a Comment