Of all household bills, taxes and other things we have to pay out, energy prices are the ones that seem to fluctuate the most, and yet always seem to be on the rise! With all of the major energy providers announcing price hikes in the last few months that could see some people paying as much as 80 extra a year, and only a single provider (EDF) freezing their prices until March, it might seem on paper that switching at all is complete waste of the time, but that isnt the case at all you just need to be smart about when and how you switch over! Here are some simple tips to help you decide when to switch over:
Pricing A huge number of different things can make energy prices go up, down, or stall. Consumer groups and government are usually pushing for cheaper energy prices especially for vulnerable customers, while things like wars, disputes and shortages can push the prices up. For the last few years energy prices have actually been reasonably stable, but prices have started to rise again now, which shows that you cant always predict when and how these changes are going to happen.
What usually happens in the UK is that pretty much all of the big providers change their prices at the same time, and you should make sure all the big names have made their price announcements before you move over. If you move too quickly after only a single provider has made a decision, you could be left on a more expensive tariff and on a long contract that will make it impossible to switch again for at least a year without paying exit fees.
Watching & Comparing Knowing what the energy companies are doing and when and where they are going to announce good deals and special offers can make a huge difference to the price you can end up with. Keeping an eye on the market will give you a better idea of what companies are offering better deals. You could do this by monitoring six different electricity websites, but its far simpler to just watch a good comparison or consumer news website instead, which will provide you with news, prices and information of all big providers as they happen. You can subscribe to blogs, newsletters and RSS feeds from most comparison and consumer websites as well, which means you dont even have to spend time constantly visiting them to get the latest news.
Switching Once youve found a great provider and have waited for all the big names to announce where they stand, actually switching over to a different provider is very easy. The great thing about switching is that not only can you find an overall cheaper monthly deal, but you can also enjoy the benefits and offers that are nearly always only offered to new customers. Customers who switch their provider regularly can take advantage of these deals and one time offers which can see their electricity costs being reduced even further. The switching process is simple and painless, but it can take up to eight weeks, so always allow time to move over during which you might still be charged on the rates of your old provider.