People around the world are accessing information necessary to take control of areas in their lives which were previously beyond their control. One such area is energy, specifically the ability to cut the cost of their monthly energy bill. This has, in turn, given rise to a new brand of ‘specialists’: Energy comparison websites. Comparison sites allow you to compare the costs and plans from the different companies competing for your account. This makes it as easy to switch energy companies as it is to click a link.
An important bit advice is to make sure that you conduct enough research into the different companies and plans available to make yourself a savvy consumer. This way you can choose an energy provider with the best deal for you, and you can critically assess your lifestyle to see where you can eliminate wasteful energy use.
Fortunately, energy companies are playing ball, providing consumers with more affordable energy deals. This has less to do with altruism and more to do with increased competition in the energy market, but we as cash-strapped consumers will take what we can get. The increased competition, especially from emerging companies, is good news for consumers, so don’t discount the little guys when you compare energy providers.
Before you switch your energy provider, you need to know exactly what you’re paying now, as well as what you’re paying for. It’s a good idea to check your last year’s worth of energy bills – based on meter readings and not estimated amounts. That way you will develop a picture of exactly how much energy you use and what your expenses are throughout the year, including increases in winter and decreases in summer.
Then all you need to do is fill in the details required by comparison sites – you can use the information on your existing bills – and let the website do the rest. You can get away with providing the bare minimum of information, such as your address, current supplier, method of payment and tariff plan, but the more detailed information, such as your yearly consumption in kWh, you can provide the better the results will be.
You should double-check your existing plan to see if they are any hidden fees, like exit fees. If your current provider charges exit fees, you will have to balance that against the gains you’ll get when making the switch. Don’t forget to also find out about loyalty programmes and discounts. A good loyalty programme with discounts can make a moderately-priced package that much more attractive.