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Changing Energy Suppliers- The Right Way!

Frequently Green Doctors receive inquiries that may sound like the conversation below:

Customer – Well X company says I can save £500 if I swap to them, what can you do to beat it?

Green Doctor– ok, what is that based on?

Customer – I said I had 4 bedrooms, 10 radiators and was only home in the evenings

Green Doctor – if it is OK, let’s go back through the switching site but we are going to change one thing – instead of saying I have X bedrooms, let us instead put in how many KWH you actually use and see if that comes out with same results

Customer – So I did that and it says I will save £20 over the year

Green Doctor – That sounds about right! When you’re not home, you’re still using energy, your TV is probably on standby, your fridge freezer and internet is on 24/7, how many gadgets do you unplug when you go to bed or leave the house? The switching site uses an average KWH when you tell it how many rooms you have but it doesn’t take into consideration how many people are home, how long they are home, what’s being used, boiler timers and so forth. However, all of that can be seen when we use the KWH from your energy bills.

The takeaway from this conversation is this: there are barely any savings between energy companies and when you are comparing, it’s super important that you use accurate information. The thing to look for is how long a unit price is fixed for or if its variable rate where it can go down but not go up past a certain point – it all depends on how you like to budget and whether you want to forget about energy prices for at least a year or pay the lowest rates possible.

Changing energy companies can be a right confusing faff. You look up ‘changing energy suppliers’ and are present with a dozen switch sites. Once you’ve chosen one you then fill out a form that’s longer than War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and asked you rather personal, unwarranted questions. Finally, you’re given a long list of companies with tariffs that all sound the same and all have crazy and probably incorrect savings if you switch

But, there is a way to make all of this super simple! All you will need is your energy bill and a cup of tea to help ease the process.

Step 1: Choose your switching site. Two popular choices are either USwitch or Money Super Market.

Step 2: Have a copy of your bill. On there, you want something called ‘Estimated annual usage in KWH’ and ‘Estimated annual cost’. This is how it will look on your statement:

When it asks you how much energy you use, say you know what it is in KWH, and use the figure found on your bill. If there isn’t one, you can contact your energy provider who will give you this. Avoid saying how much you pay per month or how many rooms etc you have, as this will gives you inaccurate information and you might end up paying more compared to whom youre currently with.

Step 3: If you have a smart meter, tell the switching site that you have one. Some companies have special rates/deals for those with smart meters. For example, cheaper electricity between 9 am to 5 pm on weekends. Others will have special rates if you have an electric charger for a car or have solar panels so again tell the site this if it asks you.

Step 4: Look at the tariff end dates and if they are fixed or variable. Choose one that matches your lifestyle.

Fixed – Your rates will not go up or down until the end date. This is a catch-22 scenario, you will either save money or lose money. This is ideal for those who like to be on a budget and plan long-term on how much you’ll be paying each month/quarter.

Variable: Rates will go up and down – some won’t go up past a certain point and can go down if the standard price goes down. These are great if you want the cheapest rate going. The contracts are usually a yearlong but the downside is it can be hard to budget as you don’t know what the rates are going to be month to month. 

If you are having problems with navigating your energy bill, understanding these tariffs, and want some reassurance that you are choosing the right deal, then help is at hand! The Green Doctors are on call to help you! We offer free advice and support and are the experts when it comes to energy-related queries. You can book in a call or a home visit either via our website or you can call us:

Website: https://groundwork.my.salesforce-sites.com/enquiry/

Phone: 0300 365 3005

A visit or a call will take up to 90 minutes and in that time we will complete an energy survey to see what is using energy and offer advice on how to be more efficient. We can install energy-saving items such as low energy light bulbs, draft excluders and radiator foil. Our goal is to give you peace of mind for all things energy-related, we all have enough to worry about, and energy bills needn’t be one of them! 

This blog is authored by Alex Clesham, who has an extensive experience in the energy industry for over 15 years including one of the Big 5 for 11 years.

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