British Gas’s announcement of a 12.5% electricity price hike is set to put the focus back on energy switching.
Here are some of the key questions answered on how and why people switch energy suppliers.
A: All of the Big Six providers have increased prices in recent months, with the latest announcement by Centrica-owned British Gas adding £76 a year to average gas and electricity bills from mid-September.
However, experts say customers could switch to a cheaper supplier and save hundreds of pounds.
With autumn and winter approaching, which is the time when we use the most energy, it is now more important than ever to review energy tariffs to make sure customers are still getting the best deal.
A: Price comparison websites are a great starting point when looking to find the cheapest energy deals.
Using the most up-to-date usage information – most of which can be found on recent bills and annual energy statements – the websites will be able to provide accurate comparison results from which a plan and supplier can be picked.
After choosing a new energy supplier, there is a two-week “cooling off” period after which the new provider will get in touch to provide more details on the service switchover date.
There is no interruption to energy supply – the only change is how the energy is charged.
A: According to Which?, customers of the Big Six suppliers who are on a standard tariff could save up to £305 a year by switching to the cheapest available deal on the market.
A separate study by uSwitch suggests customers can save up to £618 by switching to a competitive fixed deal.
A: The British Gas standard tariff remains the cheapest among the Big Six, even after the latest price hike, which brings its standard variable tariff to £1,120.
This is followed by SSE at £1,129, E.ON at £1,144, EDF Energy at £1,160, ScottishPower at £1,167, and npower at £1,187, according to uSwitch.
However, the website points out that theBritish Gas standard tariff is still £286 more expensive than the cheapest deal on the market today.
A: Ofgem figures from earlier this year suggest that around 66% of all households remain on poor-value standard variable tariffs.
Switching energy suppliers is often viewed as a confusing and tedious process.
But with the proliferation of energy comparison websites in recent years, it has become much easier and is a quick way to save money each month.
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