- Personal Finance
The pros and cons of a duel fuel bill
Duel fuel bills, as the name suggests are bills whereby you have the same supplier providing you with both your gas and electricity. With respect to this topic that are a list of pros associated with it, as well as some downsides as well. Both of these will be discussed and by the end you should be able to decide if a duel fuel bill is suitable for you.
The pros of a duel fuel bil
One of the biggest advantages of having your gas and electricity come from the same supplier is the fact that it is a lot easier to manage. Whether or not you use an online account to manage your bills or you get your statements sent out in the mail to show your usage, by having it with the same supplier you are able to pay both bills at the same time. The benefit of this is that you can get the bill out of the way for that month and not have to worry about it again which will be a great relief to many.
Further, many energy suppliers are able to offer discounts for those that take out both the gas and electricity with them. The energy sector is one of the most lucrative in the market, as well as being one of the most aggressive. Therefore, energy companies are more than willing to give a small discount to their existing and new customers if they feel that they will be able to lock them in for both the gas and electricity. After all, it would be better to take slightly less off of the customer and get them paying for both electricity and gas than having them only paying one to the company.
Moreover, some suppliers also give a bonus or welcome gift for those that decided that they want to take out a duel fuel bill with them. This is normally to the value of around £50 and can be used in a variety of high street stores such as Marks and Spencer. Some energy companies are also offering for a limited time vouchers for Amazon, which if you shop online could be a great way to get a further bargain. When you add in the value of the gift voucher with a bonus of having a reduction in your bill, it is certainly an interesting prospect.
However, in some cases there are also downsides to opting for a duel fuel deal
The cons of a duel fuel bill
A big downside of opting for a duel fuel bill is that some (but not all providers) will expect you to be tied into a long term contract. For many this isn’t really a problem since the vast majority of people rarely switch energy supplier, if ever. However for those that is more frugal with their money this can prove to be a problem.
The issue here is that you will be locked into a contract at a specific price point. Whilst you will be protected against any rises in the price of your units and standing charge, you will also not be eligible to have a reduction in your bill for say, 18 months. The issue here is that is the cost of energy did happen to drop over this time, you would be paying more money than those that have recently signed up. Whilst the drop may be negligible, from time to time the drop in price has been fairly hefty and has left a lot of people paying more money than other customers. You would of course be able to cancel your contract although some providers will expect you to pay an early exit fee. Due to this you would need to weigh up the potential savings you could make compared to the early penalty fee your provider would be expecting from you.
Another potential issue is that some duel fuel bills are priced at introductory rates and after six months these will jump up to the normal rate. Again, this is a case where you would need to compare if the small saving you make in the initial period is one that makes you a saving overall, or if it would end up leaving you out of pocket.
Lastly, as highlighted at the start of this Hub, when it comes to a duel fuel bill many providers look to have the money for both the gas and electricity paid for at the same time. This can be a problem if you’re paying this monthly for those that get a weekly wage, or those that are self-employed or work on a freelance basis. By having a large sum come out of their account at the same point each month then there is the possibility that it will put them in financial difficulty whereas with two separate bills from different providers will allow those in this situation to be able to have enough money to pay for the energy usage they’ve accrued.
Contact your supplier
Scottish Power in particular are very flexible when it comes to duel fuel bills and they also run promotions from time to time with regards to gift vouchers as well as giving a lower price compared to the competition. There are several phone numbers for them floating around online however this list should prove more than ample to get you through to the department of your choice as the Scottish Power website can be rather convoluted. More details on the numbers can be found here http://www.energycompanynumbers.co.uk/scottish-power-customer-contact-number/