How to Choose a Good Energy Provider for Your Home or Business
Choosing an energy provider can be confusing. There are so many different options, and it can be hard to know where to start.
But choosing the wrong energy provider could cost you hundreds of pounds per year. So, here’s how to select an energy provider that will save you money and keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
What do I need to look at when comparing providers?
When searching for your new supplier, make sure you compare all the critical factors: price, contract length, reliability, customer service and more. Here’s what you should consider.
This is very important. Remember, we live in a world with rising inflation – if one company offers lower prices than another, they must have some advantage or edge over their competitor. It may not always seem like much, but every pound counts! The cheapest option isn’t always best as sometimes companies don’t give discounts because they want to encourage customers to sign up for more extended contracts instead. Make sure you check all the details before signing anything. You might find a cheaper deal elsewhere, which means you get better value overall.
Take time to read through any offer carefully. If you will stay for years in the same space, opt for a long-term agreement. But if you think you’ll move within 12 months, pay attention to shorter fixed-term contracts. They won’t automatically roll over into something else. Check whether your current rate is included in the deal too. This way, if you switch suppliers later down the line, you’ll still be paying precisely the same amount each month. And remember, shorter terms mean higher bills.
Do they provide 24/7 cover? Are there call centres available during weekends and evenings? How often does my electricity cut off? Standard comparison sites don’t usually answer these questions. Instead, try checking reviews from previous clients online. For example, Trustpilot has lots of ratings and comments about services provided by various energy suppliers.
Check out guidelines given by consultants from Utility Bidder to find reliable suppliers in your area. Ask them directly. Many providers now ask potential customers to fill in surveys after switching to see how satisfied they were. Others run competitions asking people who changed away from their old supplier to answer questionnaires. They learn more about the types of problems their customers face and how well their teams respond to those issues by doing these things. That helps ensure they continue providing excellent customer support.
Is it cheaper to combine gas and electricity?
Yes, it is. Most people will pay less for their electricity if they use both at once. It’s called “bundling”, and you need to check with your provider to make sure this applies to you. Bundled tariffs are generally lower rates per kilowatt-hour and can save money compared to separate charges for electricity and gas. So bundling saves money right out of the gate.
Do I need an annual meter reading?
No. Annual meter readings aren’t required anymore, so if you haven’t had yours done recently, that shouldn’t stop you from moving ahead. Just note, however, that you may lose credits towards your green tariff under certain circumstances. In other words: Don’t forget to do a meter reading when you renew your contract otherwise you could miss out on extra benefits.
Can I change my mind without penalty?
Yes, most current contracts allow you to cancel. However, even if your contract doesn’t state this explicitly, you’re unlikely to incur penalties or fees if you decide to leave early. Many providers will waive the cancellation fee entirely if you choose to end your contract early. If you don’t sign a new contract by its expiration date, then you risk losing access to cheap power altogether! Make sure not to wait till the very last minute to get a good price as some companies might extend your existing contract indefinitely.
Are there ways to reduce costs?
If you’ve got low usage meters already installed, you could try using a smart thermostat to turn the heating down when no one needs hot water or washing machines running. Alternatively, you could install solar panels yourself using government grants. There’s also help available for vulnerable households such as pensioners and disabled people.
Does the Government subsidise renewables?
The cost difference between traditional power sources and renewable ones varies widely depending on where you live. Renewable energy tends to be much cheaper than conventional alternatives in Germany and Spain but not consistently in Britain. The UK Government encourages investment into new technologies through its Feed-in Tariff scheme. This means homeowners get paid for excess generation produced beyond what’s needed locally – up to 1kW for PV systems and 10kW for wind turbines. You don’t need to return anything into the grid either; take care not to exceed the maximum output allowed by law.
If you want to find the best energy supplier, you need to find good reviews online. While if you plan to switch providers, you might also want to consider switching to a company with a better price offer. This way, you can check out what other people think about your new energy supplier.
You’ll need to do your homework before signing up with an energy firm. First off, see how competitively priced suppliers’ offers are. Then, ask which companies offer discounts for customers who sign up together and whether those same firms provide financial incentives to encourage more efficient homes. Finally, investigate the quality of customer service offered by different suppliers.