Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rising energy costs: could switching supplier combat them? - Guest Post

It’s no secret that the cost of energy has skyrocketed in recent years. A combination of anxiety over the increasing scarcity of oil and natural gas and environmental issues are being cited as reasons for the bills millions of us receive in the post being higher than normal.

While the cost of wholesale energy has risen sharply, it seems that bills given by suppliers have increased at even faster rates.

Consumer concern
Consumer groups, customers and even some politicians have expressed their concern about how the cost of energy has shot up in recent times. Recent news that energy prices could rise by 10% very soon represents a further blow to households and businesses already struggling to pay their monthly bills, leaving them with few options to try and cut them down to size.

Cutting down gas and electricity use is a realistic option for some households, especially if they keep appliances plugged in at all times that don’t need to be. However, being energy efficient can only save them so much, as any money saved could be wiped out in an instant by future price rises. Using a renewable energy source like a solar panel could work, but it’s beyond the means of many people.

Taking the big leap
At a time when almost every major supplier looks like announcing big price rises, switching to another energy supplier might not seem like the thing to do when searching for savings, but it could actually work out.
There is a possibility that your energy provider might be overcharging you, either through astronomical price rises or errors. Comparing the suppliers may result in you receiving a smaller bill.
To try and switch supplier, you should:

  • ·         One of the things you can do is compare. This is easy enough to do when searching online comparison sites and should only take a few minutes to do
  • ·         Online billing, some companies charge to post out a bill so managing the account online may save you money overall
  • ·         Work out what you can afford to pay. This will help you rule out those suppliers whose tariffs are too expensive
  • ·         Work out when your current contract ends. About a month before your contract is up for renewal, you will have a renewal window where you can either stay with your supplier or move to another. Moving outside the renewal window is almost impossible to do or could be costly

With prices rising in the UK is looking at other sources such as solar as previously mentioned, another option is Fracking however despite the success of shale fracking in the US British Gas has stated that it won’t be a game changer in the UK energy markets.

 What are your thoughts?

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