Now you don’t have to take it or leave it:The days when the big energy companies could dictate the market are long gone. With the increasing number of independent energy suppliers growing, the market has become much more competitive. The take it or leave it attitude of times gone by, when all the big six supplier tariffs were similar, and you paid or got cut off, has been confined to history. Yet the majority of consumers still seem prepared to pay often hundreds of pounds a year more for their heating than they need to.
From government downwards, massive amounts of finance have been ploughed into informing people of their right to change, and developing ways to make that transition as painless as possible. Yet far too many still see it as an unnecessary hassle rather than somewhere to get the best deals.
It’s easy to get your Electricity tariff checked:
Nearly 5 million consumers in the UK switched energy suppliers during the previous 12 months. Nonetheless, that still leaves over 60% of tenants and homeowners who didn’t. Due to work commitments, other priorities, or because they can’t be bothered, people continue to obtain their energy requirements using suppliers expensive variable tariffs. With the increasing number of electricity comparison sites available, ten minutes is all it takes to compare what you are paying now, to the reduced amount you could be paying in the future. And that could mean a large saving, especially if you live in an electricity only property.
Check your gas tariff:
Although gas is still the cheapest form of energy, the price per cubic metre continues to increase. With energy suppliers offering both gas and electricity, it’s worth checking out dual suppliers to get the best overall deal, as well as checking the tariff of individual suppliers. Because you’re using a dual supplier now, doesn’t mean you have to continue using a dual supplier. Go to one of the comparison sites such as uSwitch. All you have to do is enter your postcode, answer a few lifestyle questions and everything is done for you except choosing your supplier.
Flip over to Flipper:
If all this still sounds like too much trouble, you can sign up to Flipper. For £25 a year the app will regularly check all suppliers. Should it find you a cheaper supplier, it will forward you the details and begin the changeover process once approved by you. The company maintains savings of over £200 a year are regularly achieved.
Water utility companies:
Unlike gas and electricity companies, where you live in the UK governs which regional water authority supplies the water in your pipes. If you live in a pre-1990 property, with no meter, the price you’re expected to pay is based on your property’s rateable value, regardless of the amount of water you use.
If your property was built after 1990 then it probably has its own meter and you are charged solely for the water you use. If you don’t have a water meter, and believe your water usage to be low, you can apply to the relevant water authority to have a meter fitted, and your bills should reduce. Of course, if you’ve miscalculated your water usage, the bills could also increase. If you find this is the case, some water companies will remove your meter within the first 12 months. Check with the company first.
The Fourth Utility:
It wasn’t that many years ago, when anybody mentioned household utilities, they were referring to gas, water or electric. Then along came the internet. Now, with the growth of the internet, fibre-optics, the introduction of broadband, and the increasing number of homes with internet connection, the fourth utility has been born.
Just like the original utilities, as greater numbers of service providers joined the market, so consumers became overwhelmed with different tariffs, download speeds and gigabyte allowance. What do we do when faced with this confusion? Stay still.
Well now we don’t have to. As internet providers have increased, so to have comparison websites. Now, comparison sites such as Broadband Choices provide all information you require to decide whether a move will provide a better service or faster download speeds. Are there any set-up costs, are you tied into a contract, are there any exit fees, and most importantly, will you save money by making the change.
Don’t ignore rising utility costs. Use the internet for ways to get the best deals, and get your finances back under control.