Are you concerned about your energy bills? If you are having difficulties paying them and would like to know what you can do to cut them down, take a look at our money-saving tips below.
Why Are My Energy Bills So High?
After facing one of the toughest years in living memory, many people are now being bombarded with high energy bills, just to top everything off.
Unfortunately, in April, the energy price cap was raised by £96 to £1,138. This increase pushes the cap to pre-pandemic levels while we are all dealing with a mid-pandemic economy. The issue, however, is that energy demand has increased, with the opening of businesses and the wider economy, so we can now expect to see prices continue increasing.
If you are struggling with your energy bills — or any other debts — contact Debt Movement for free and impartial financial guidance.
Even though the general cap is going up, there are still savings to be found. According to Ofgem, customers should switch their energy supplier to save money. Most suppliers offer discounts for customers who switch over, allowing you to make some good savings.
Few of us have the time to visit countless sites in search of a better deal. That is why we have partnered with Affinity Energy, a comparison website that saves you money on your energy bills.
You’re Not Alone: More and More People Are Struggling to Pay Their Energy Bills
Since February last year, more than half a million new households have fallen into arrears with their energy bills — over two million homes throughout the UK. We have all just come out of a tough winter, with lower household incomes still having to pay the same, if not higher, prices for bills.
Almost 700,000 homes using prepay energy meters could not afford to top them up for most of last year — leaving people lacking an essential component of modern life.
Yet, things appear to be getting worse now that the energy regulator has increased the energy price cap, meaning we can expect to see higher prices in the near future. The reason the energy companies have pushed for an increase in the cap is to compensate for their lost revenues. But how much longer the remainder of their customers will be able to foot the bill remains to be seen.
Can’t Pay Your Energy Bills? Help Is Available
If like many people, you are having difficulty paying your energy bills, there is help available. The government has agreed on measures with energy companies to support customers, including:
- Bill repayment and debt repayment plans
- Payment breaks and reductions
- Access to hardship funds
These are all based on a case by case basis. For more information on what you might be entitled to, call us on 0330 380 1706.
Can Changing Suppliers Reduce Your Energy Bills and Put More Cash in Your Bank?
Changing energy suppliers is one of the best ways to save money on your energy bills. Most energy companies offer attractive rates to new clients or clients switching over from another supplier.
Savvy customers who switch their suppliers regularly keep their bills as low as possible. Switching suppliers is easy, and it is one of the quickest ways you can make some savings each year, with some pocketing hundreds of pounds.
If you are interested in changing your energy supplier, take a look at Affinity Energy, a marketplace listing all the current packages and offers by energy companies. Affinity Energy saves you time searching and provides all the important information at your fingertips.
Is There a Penalty for Switching Energy Suppliers?
There are two types of energy tariffs in the UK: fixed price and variable. Fixed-price tariffs are normally cheaper, but they involve signing a contract for a fixed period and energy price. Usually, the contracts are for 12, 18 and 24 months.
After the end of the contract, you will probably move over to a variable tariff where you are free to move to another supplier without a penalty. Exit fees are only common when cancelling early on a fixed rate tariff. Fortunately, most suppliers now allow people to switch up to 49 days ahead of your tariff’s end date without incurring a fee.
How to Find a Better Deal on Your Energy Bills
If you are considering switching and getting yourself a better deal, you must find out what is currently on offer from all the energy suppliers. The first option you have is to check with each energy company, visit their websites and scroll through their pages to discover packages suitable for you. This can take a long time.
Your second option is to use a comparison website that does all the hard work for you. You simply put in your current usage/spend and are then shown a list of suppliers offering the best deals for you.
When Is the Best Time to Change Energy Supplier?
The best time to change your energy supplier will depend on your personal circumstances. If you have a contract with a supplier, you may need to wait until it completes before moving to another.
Fortunately, Ofgem has ruled that you are exempt from any termination fees if you decide to leave your contract within the last 49 days of the term. This allows you time to move to another energy supplier and prevents any power issues in your home while transitioning.
It can take up to three weeks to change energy suppliers, so you must make sure you are quick to change from one supplier to the other to prevent any lack of power.
How Long Does It Take to Switch Energy Suppliers?
Switching suppliers does not take very long. According to Ofgem, it takes most customers around two to three weeks to switch suppliers. Some suppliers have signed the Energy Switch Guarantee, which guarantees to switch their customers in 21 days. These suppliers are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power, and SSE.
What Is Affinity Energy and How Can It Save You Money?
Affinity Energy is an energy comparison service that helps you find the best energy deals. Using your current usage and spend, Affinity Energy shows you the best offers on the market for your particular needs.
If you are interested in cutting your energy bills, then head over to Affinity Energy to find the best rates.