If there is something we really want to avoid here at Savvy Scot, it is paying more thank you should for the same service. And utilities fall into that category. Did you know that you are probably paying £250+ too much, for the same electricity and gas service you would get from a cheaper provider?
We covered that topic in details a little while back in the New Year financial bootcamp, but it is such an easy move for such big savings it is worth mentioning again.
The way I do it, is try to have a routine utility check at least once a year. With comparison sites, it only takes a few minutes, a few clicks, and can save you hundreds of pounds. Just make a note in your calendar to check your bills every January, or when your fixed price contract ends, and like this you will be on the lowest tariff possible at any time.
This infographic from Go Energy Shopping has plenty of information to help you do just that.
They suggest you move to a fixed tariff to lower your bill to £900 on average, instead of £1,170 for variable tariffs. Another advantage of the fixed tariff, is you know how to budget, depending on your monthly consumption, and that your bills will remain more or less the same for that given period of time. Make sure you send accurate meter readings when required, so you also avoid overpaying if you are on a fixed direct debit.
Before you commit to a fixed rate, check the conditions, especially the exit fee if there is one. The last time I switched, the exit fee was only £5, so I felt happy with the decision, and if rates do drop some more in the future, I can easily switch for a fiver.
Finally, something few people do, if you are happy with your provider, you can try negotiating and have them lower your monthly rate. Good customer service is valuable to many, even sometimes to a point where you prefer paying a little extra for the convenience. So call them, and tell them you are seriously considering switching, because company B would save you £XXX per year. It is likely they will make an effort to lower their price, maybe even match the offer. But like any provider, that special offer may last only for 12 months, so once again, make a calendar note to call again when that deal ends!