How to save money when changing your energy provider
Energy costs are a necessary evil of modern day living, so it becomes a much needed relief when you learn that you can save money by changing your energy provider. In this article, we will be listing some tips on how you can save more money when you make a change.
Switch provider regularly
Find a stats savvy supplier
Consider changing tariffs
Ignore the new ‘Cap’
Look into free energy saving options
Go green and save more
#1 - Switch provider regularly
This one might be a surprise to some, but it’s actually easier to save money by switching providers regularly. You might think that long term customers would get loyalty benefits for staying with their provider, but instead you’ll start getting charged more and more year over year.
You can still save by switching providers regularly, and you have no limit to the number of times you can switch. Thanks to Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, the providers have to let you go, too. One of the top reasons why you can save money regularly is because the energy market in the UK is very competitive, and many providers will offer special variable offers with better rates for a certain period.
If you want to save as much money as possible, you should bookmark our giffgaff gameplan energy comparison tool and regularly check for the latest money saving deals. We’d suggest changing every 1-2 years is a reasonable timespan to save the most.
#2 - Find a stats savvy supplier
Some providers are still stuck in the past, but you’ll find a variety of providers that now offer real time updates of your usage and mobile apps to track your energy costs. Before you switch to a new provider, do a bit of background research. Check to see if you will be given an app to download or at least access to an online account page with usage information on.
Whilst keeping track of your usage won’t directly save you money, it will help you to monitor your spending and tone down the heating if things get swelteringly expensive. You can also learn more about your particular usage patterns to understand whether you’d be more suited for a standard tariff or an Economy 7/differential tariff, which charges less at certain hours, but more during peak hours.
#3 - Consider changing tariffs
Every energy provider has a variety of different tariffs. Chances are, if you haven’t given it much thought, you’re probably not on the most cost effective tariff. You can use our comparison tool to find the most suitable tariffs based on how much you are spending already. You’ll often find that keeping an eye on tariff changes will help you to save money whilst still sticking to the same provider. This means that if you like the customer service, functionality, or features of a certain energy provider, you may still be able to save money whilst sticking with them.
#4 - Ignore the new ‘Cap’
In 2019, Ofgem introduced a new cap in the UK that forced energy providers to keep their costs below a certain amount per year. That cap is now £1,137, and all providers must be under this cost per year to stay ‘fair’ and within Ofgem’s new cap. What’s interesting is whilst this cap forces all providers to be fair, it doesn’t mean all providers will stick to this upper limit.
You’ll still find just as many providers that will charge less for your usage, so whilst you may have heard rumours that switching providers will no longer matter after January 2019, it couldn’t be more false. There are dozens of opportunities to switch to more affordable energy plans and providers in 2019, just like there were in past years.
#5 - Look into free energy saving options
A number of providers still offer free boiler replacements, discounted boilers, or insulation for certain circumstances. If you feel your energy cost is far too much, but you can’t afford the changes to your home to decrease costs, researching what freebies are up for grabs can be an excellent way to save money. What’s excellent is that you may even be able to find a new provider that offers such deals, alongside lower rates than you are already paying.
Right now, E.on is the top energy supplier that offers free insulation to those on certain benefits. There is also a scheme in the UK called the ECO Scheme, which will allow some households to get their boilers replaced free of charge. You can learn more and apply at boilergrants.org.uk.
#6 - Go green and save more
If you’re an energy conscious individual that wants to do their part, you should consider picking a green energy supplier. When you switch to a green tariff, you’re guaranteed to only be using gas and electricity that is from renewable sources. Whilst this may typically cost more than a non-renewable tariff, if you pick the right provider, this isn’t the case at all.
A good example is Bulb, who claim their Bulb tariff will cost £1,003 a year on average, well below the new £1,137 cap. Bulb is also one of the select few that offer 100% renewable electricity. Some providers offer green tariffs that only provide between 7.3 and 64.7% renewable electricity. Gas is, unfortunately, a different story for now, but Bulb are still offering 10% renewable gas.
Other great saving tips to consider
Once you’ve switched to a cheaper provider through our comparison tool, you can still save more by being more conscious about how you spend your energy. Here are a few tips you can use to keep your costs low.
Buy a Smart Thermostat
If you’re constantly tinkering with your heating, you may want to consider a Smart Thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat. This smart gadget will monitor your usage patterns and within a week or two will automate and optimize changes in heating. The Nest Learning Thermostat also comes with a variety of features to help reduce costs, such as a mode that will automatically switch off heating when nobody is home, or fire things back up a little while before you arrive home from work.
Close doors and Windows
Sounds simple, but keeping your windows open is a quick way to lose all your heat. If you’re feeling extra chilly, you should also close the doors of each room. Heat will circulate better when it can’t escape into other areas of the house.
Don’t block radiators
If you have something like a bed or a sofa pressed up against your radiator, you can kiss your dreams of a warm, toasty room goodbye. Try to make a room plan that allows your radiator free access. Another tip would be to install a shelf above a radiator - this stops heat from rising directly up, and will allow it to spread further into the room first.
Consider estimated monthly direct debits
Usually, setting up a direct debit with your energy supplier where you pay an estimate each month will help you to save money over time. Energy suppliers let you pay less because you’re paying money more regularly, as opposed to the typical quarterly payments. They get their money faster and have less worry about you missing payments, so they incentivize it over the standard option.
I hope that these money saving tips have come in handy. Make sure to use our energy comparison tool to find out how much you can save when moving to a new energy provider in 2019.