Why you should be switching your gas and electricity tariff

Not enough people are aware of their right to switch, that’s a fact. But it’s not just that; many people aren’t aware of the sheer saving possibilities that are available when you switch your tariff. It seems to be a common belief that if you switch your tariff, you will only save a few pounds; however, the reality could not be more different. Energy comparison authority, USwitch, claim that 10% of people that switch through their service save an average of £491 or more per year. When you put it like that, switching your energy tariff doesn’t seem so insignificant anymore, does it? Read through this article and find out how you could be saving this amount too.

How do you switch?

The most popular method nowadays for switching your energy tariffs is by using a comparison tool. There is no one ‘best’ in particular; however, there are more popular services, such as Selectra and Money Supermarket. Whichever you decide to use, entering your details will bring up the cheapest tariffs that are available to you in your area in order of price. This will give you a good idea of how much you are going to save and what options you have available to you from the many suppliers across the market.

You will need a few bits of information if you want to make your comparison as accurate as possible. Most services can now switch you over with as little as your name, address and bank details, but there are a few more bits needed to make your quotation completely relevant to your personal situation. These details could include:

  • Yearly usage/spend amount
  • Current tariff name
  • Meter/payment type
  • You MPAN/MPRN

My neighbour saved more than me

Every single case is different when it comes to energy tariffs. There are a number of variables that affect your saving amount, but none more so than your usage and current tariff. Just because you and your neighbour live next to eachother it does not mean that you are on the same tariff, even if neither of you have ever switched before. It also certainly does not mean that you use the same amount of gas and electricity, and after all, that’s what you’re paying for – the amount that you use.

As such, no two people will ever save the exact same amount of money, unless it was an extremely bizarre situation. One thing that many people don’t take into consideration is their location. There are various pricing zones across the UK, each of which are subject to different static charges from their respective distribution network. This forces suppliers into adapting their pricing to fit each individual area.

How long does the switch take?

Your part will be over in a matter of minutes, it’s what happens after that can take a while. Once you have handed your information over to the switching service, it can take them a couple of weeks to complete the switch with the supplier. However, due to OFGEM regulations, this can now no longer take more than 21 days , which is superb news for those who want to get switched over ASAP.

The average time at present for the switch is around 17 days, but it could take a little longer or shorter. Following the switch date you will also be subject to a period of 15 days, which is called the cooling off period. This is your right as a consumer to decide that you are no longer sure about the switch and cancel your contract. Usually this would incur some sort of exit fee if you are outside of this period, but during these days, you will be able to cancel with no financial repercussion.

Can I switch my tariff in Northern Ireland?

Although most energy suppliers in Great Britain refer to the market as ‘UK’, it does not include Northern Ireland. England, Scotland and Wales, for the most part, are all part of one single energy; however, Northern Ireland is a little different . You can switch your electricity tariffs, but not your gas at present.

Currently, there are only five suppliers in the Northern Irish market. These are as follows:-

  • Power NI
  • SSE Aitricity Electricity
  • Budget Energy
  • Electric Ireland
  • Click Energy

 

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