I switched energy supplier and saved
Posted by Gabby Mallett on 3 November 2016 at 10:05 am
The first thing I had to do was work out how much energy I had used last year. That wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be as, rather helpfully, my current energy provider does give me an annual statement and puts on each month’s bill a note of my previous year’s energy usage.
So my gas use was 15,979 kWh and my electricity use was 772.43 kWh. The average use is 12,500 for gas and 3,100 for electricity, so I was a little over average on my gas and very much below on my electricity (probably because I have a large PV system and am very careful about how I use my free generation).
The next step was to put these figures into an online engine. There are plenty around and they are all much of a muchness. Interestingly the one I did use had a note on the first page that I might be able to save up to £679 (wouldn’t that have been great!).
One thing worth noting is that if you use the ‘how much do you pay’ option on the online service you may not get very accurate results. Often the direct debit payments aren’t a true reflection of usage as at the end of each year you find yourself in debit or credit (usually the latter) so it’s always best to use the kWh numbers if you can find them.
That’s really about all you need to do. You can choose if you want to see all potential tariffs or whether you want to choose renewable energy only ones. You can choose ones which the online service can help you switch to or ones that you would need to contact yourself. You can choose ones that will still allow paper statements. The most important thing to check is whether the new supplier can give you the Warm Homes Discount (WHD) (if you are eligible for it). This is particularly important if you are helping elderly relatives to switch as some suppliers can’t do this.
I didn’t need to worry about the WHD and I particularly wanted renewable energy (and not nuclear!) and I wanted the switching service to help me with the process.
The best one they came up with is likely to save me £225.60 per year. It’s not the £679 that some people may be getting, but it’s certainly made the half hour it’s taken me to do it worthwhile. It’s with Bulb energy and they are predicting that my total cost of energy for the year will be £636.28 and I will pay £53.02 per month. So I am switching, going green and saving money all at the same time.
But will you save money, I hear you ask. The easy answer is that if my energy use this year works out to be the same as last year then yes I will definitely save. If we have a particularly cold winter and I increase my energy use then I may end up paying more, but I would have ended up paying more with the old supplier too.
Image credit David Dodge
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