It is that time of year for me where I have the joyous task of switching utilities. I have gas & electricity, broadband, phone line and TV package. It’s a lot to sort out but it also handy that it all happens at the same time as once I am in the mood to save I just get it sorted out.
Now let’s be upfront, this process is going to take a bit of time and research, but let’s turn this time into cash. If I can save myself maybe £300 for 2 hours’ work, is it worth it? Of course! What job would you ever earn £300 in 2 hours? I have borrowed that clever analogy from Debt Camel, one of my blogger companions in this personal finance world. If you are reading this and are stressing about debt, please do take a look at her website for more help. She is a brilliant CAB adviser and can help you.
Switching Gas & Electricity to save money
So it’s estimated that 70% of the UK population have not recently switched their utilities. WHY NOT? You are within every right to switch suppliers. And get this, no utility company will reward you for your loyalty. Sounds crazy you are thinking, if I have been with British Gas for 10 years they will be repay me with cheaper bills? No they will be laughing all the way to the bank/dividend payments to shareholder with the extra profit they cream off most of their unknowing customers.
I am being hard I know, I REALLY WANT YOU to look into your energy bills and check you are on the best deal. Every time I write a post like this, once a year, I get many people drop me a message to say, “Thank you Mrs Mummypenny, I have just saved our family around £300 per year”. PLEASE DO IT and save some money.
Introducing Be An Energy Shopper
Be an Energy Shopper will give you any information you need, especially useful if this is the first time you have switched. The website was set up by OFGEM, the energy regulator, so can be trusted to contain the correct impartial information. Its clean and clear and easy to navigate. A great start! The first information they give you is that they can help you find the best deal for your gas & electricity.
Understanding your bill
There are 3 areas of information on the site, the first being understanding your bills . I have a direct debit pay monthly duel fuel (same company for gas & electricity) with SSE. Their bills are super clear, but not all companies are. The info you need to get at is electricity and gas usage. You will need to see how much you are in credit by (have you over paid?) or in debit by (underpaid) to understand your current position. If you are in a large credit yippee, you have some money due back and you have been overpaying every month. You may have a debit, best to give your company a call to understand this and how to sort it out.
I was on a 1 year fixed deal with SSE with a monthly direct debit of £90. As a comparison to what you may pay I live in a 4-bedroom semi-detached house. 5 people in house who use a lot of devices, tablets, phones, TV etc. 4 out of 5 people are boys so A LOT of washing goes on.
Energy Tariffs & Deals
The second section tells you about energy tariffs and deals. Click here to see the different comparison sites accredited by OFGEM. And the final section gives you more information about switching supplier. Last week I used Uswitch for my comparison but there are 11 other sites you could use.
Just click on the link and hop on over to the site. You just need to plug in your monthly usage or monthly direct debit information. If this is an unknown to you give your current provider a call and ask them your annual gas and electricity usage. They will be super speedy with the exact number to pop into the comparison site.
Back to my savings. SSE was costing me £1,080 per year. The renewal quote from SSE was going to be £1,200 per year (I did call them; this was the best they could do). Affect Energy have recalculated my usage to cost me £880 a £200 saving last year versus this year or £320 saving on renewal price from SSE versus new company Affect Energy. No hesitation I have swapped :-). I have just had an email from Affect asking for my meter readings, just 10 days after the request to swap. All switches should be complete within a 21-day period. My switch was carried out in 17 days.
I am a without a doubt one happy bunny with my £320 saving, and am super impressed so far with the customer service from Affect Energy. It appears to be good, their emails are simple and everything seems to be moving quickly and simply.
Please, please, please check your energy bills. Find out how much you are paying, how much energy you are using and do a comparison using one of the approved and price comparison sites listed on the Be an Energy Shopper site. I would LOVE to hear how much you have saved. Leave me a comment let’s see if you can beat £320.
Next I’ll share my swapping of Broadband, Landline, TV package with you. I wonder if I can get my annual savings up to £500?
This post was in collaboration with the helpful guys at Be An Energy Shopper.