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Switching your energy supplier

Updated on February 4, 2016

The winter just after the new year is the perfect time to switch your energy supplier. The biggest reason for you personally switching at this time of year is due to the fact that post Christmas, it is fair to assume that you’ve spent quite a bit of money and the credit card bills will soon be coming in.

Due to this, you’re going to want to limit your outgoings as much as possible. One of the biggest ways to do this is to switch your energy supplier.

Why do I need to switch my energy supplier?

The energy market is one of the most competitive markets around, and due to this, other energy companies are vying for the custom of people that are with different suppliers. Due to this, there are always a wealth of different incentives and offers for new customers.

What if I don’t want to switch, or don’t know how to?

Switching your energy supplier is a really straightforward process. Thanks to new laws brought in, all energy switches from one supplier to another should be done within six weeks of the request being made. If this is inhibited in anyway then the company in question can be subjected to penalties by the regulators for this breach in rules.

There are a plethora of websites online that allow you to switch your energy supplier. These are free to use and you are under no obligation to actually carry out a supplier change request. One word of warning though is that you might not actually be getting the best deal when you use a comparison website. In some cases it has been noted that when you phone the company directly, you’re given a much better deal.

Customer loyalty has always been an issue with various business such as this, as well as banks. Sadly this isn’t something that isn’t usually rewarded by the energy companies. Having said that, if you don’t want to change your energy supplier, you might still be able to lower your bill.

Lowering your bill with the same supplier

One of the easiest ways in which you may be able to lower your bill with the same supplier is to see whether or not you pay your bill by direct debit. If not, this can save you quite a bit of money over the year. The reason for this is that energy suppliers prefer to get their money right away, which always happens with a direct debit.

Due to this, they are willing to give a small discount to entice you to sign up for this option. If you do sign up for a direct debit instead, be sure to take meter readings when they request them. Otherwise, you may be subject to paying more than what you’ve actually used and you’ll then need to request to get this money back.

Also, if possible, request that you get your statements sent to you online. Since the energy supplier is merely sending you an email with your statement in it, it is not costing them any extra money, and this saving is passed onto you.

You should also check to see whether or not you are on the lowest tariff with your supplier. Some, but not all energy suppliers have a large number of tariffs. The result of this is that you be more than likely have been put onto an expensive one. The result of this is that you will have been paying out a lot more money than you should have. Most energy suppliers will honour your request to be put onto their cheapest tariff since keeping you as a happy customer is in their best interests.

Threaten to leave

If, in the event that you are on the cheapest tariff possible but you know you can still get a better deal elsewhere the best thing you can do is to phone up your supplier and ask if there is anything that can be done. At this point you will almost certainly be told no, at which point many people would give up.

However, it’s exactly at this point whereby you should ask to get put through to the disconnections department. In the disconnections department they have a lot more power to offer you a better deal than the people that take orders do.

You will most likely be initially again told that nothing can really be done. It is at this point that you request then that you are disconnected from the supply since you will be going to another provider. More often than not you will then be offered a deal, such as cut price units and standing charge for a certain number of months.

This will vary from company to company, but it is certainly worth looking into. EDF are particularly good when it comes to giving customer discounts. If you are with them, or thinking on moving to them then you can find all their crucial phone numbers here


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