Ask Tenants blog
“Can we save money by switching to cheapest Energy tariff?” is a question we ask ourselves every time we see an energy bill. We often rush to price comparison websites and end up being confused, as energy tariffs are complex. There is a fixed charge, variable gas and electricity charge, peak and off peak charges. It’s relatively complex to make best use of price comparison sites to find the cheapest energy tariff tailored to your usage. This blog will guide you on how to make best use of price comparison sites and save hundreds of pounds per year.
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Many tenants end up taking the provider landlord has chosen without researching the market for cheapest energy tariff. Myth is that landlord may not allow you to use another provider. Under consumer protection law, if you are a renting a property and are directly responsible for paying the gas and/or electricity bills, you have the right to choose your own energy supplier. Your landlord or letting agent should not unreasonably prevent this.
Before you use price comparison sites to find out the cheapest energy tariff, please ensure that you download a copy of your electronic energy bill or have a copy of your paper bill to your hand. You will need below information to hand before you go to price comparison sites:
- Your full postcode and your energy supplier’s name.
- Your current Tariff Name (an absolute must according to us). This will be on your bill. If you cannot find it, please call your supplier and ask.
- How much you use or spend on Gas and Electricity (not in total but individually)? Typical consumption values can be found here. Your usage for last 12 months should be on your bill. If it’s not there, please call your supplier and find out the units of both Gas and Electricity you used in last 12 months. Units should be in kWh (Kilo Watt Hours) for both Gas and Electricity. You needs units of Gas and Electricity used separately.
- Do you have economy 7 meter and tariff? If you pay two different electricity rates, a day and a night rate, then you are probably on an Economy 7 tariff. (If you answered yes, you should know roughly how much energy you use in the economy 7 hours (11 PM to 7 AM in London Area). If you are unsure whether you have economy 7 meter & tariff, please ask your provider along with your usage in economy 7 hours.
- How would you pay your bills? (Monthly direct debit gives best rates).
- In some rare cases, (less than 1%) you may need your gas and electricity meter numbers. Don’t worry, your meter numbers for both gas and electricity are on your bill. You do not have to go to dark cold cupboard to find them!
Once you are ready with this information, visit any price comparison website. These websites will ask you above information. You have all the ducks in row to choose the cheapest energy tariff for your home.
There may be a small exit fees if you change your suppliers or tariff’s. An exit fee is a charge an energy supplier applies if you leave your contract early. The majority of energy customers are on fixed energy plans, which commit you to a per-determined amount of time with that supplier. Exit fees usually cost between £5-£30 per fuel source. So, if you have a dual fuel contract (gas and electricity with the same supplier), you could be faced with a £60 charge for leaving your plan early. If you find a cheaper tariff with your current supplier, your current supplier may waive off the exit fees. Please speak to your supplier if exit fees apply to you when you switch to cheaper tariff.
Once you are clear about the tariff you wish to choose, found out about exit fees and ready to switch, you can simply click the “Switch” button on price comparison websites. The button usually appear in the same box as your chosen cheapest tariff.
Your energy tariff switch should take about 21 days, thanks to the Government-backed Energy Switching Guarantee. However, it can sometimes happen sooner and sometimes it takes a little longer. Your new energy supplier will provide you with an expected date for your switchover so that this is clear.
Hope you found this blog useful and made good use of it to find cheapest energy tariff’s. Asktenants.co.uk is a free to use website allowing tenants to rate rental properties and landlords. We also provide useful property related information like this blog helping home owners/renters save money.