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Has Your Winter Fuel Bill Given You the Chills?

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Barely six months ago the price of crude oil spiked at more than $110 per barrel. It has since plummeted to less than 50 per cent of that figure as it currently stands at around $50.

The country has seen this have a massive effect on the price of petrol and diesel at the pumps as we have now witnessed unleaded petrol break through the £1 per litre barrier. However, energy suppliers haven’t been quite so reactive in cutting the price of gas and electricity to the British public.

When Are Electricity and Gas Prices Coming Down?

Which? amongst others have been campaigning for “radical reforms from the government, regulators and energy companies”.

But the energy companies had been in no hurry to pass on their more competitive wholesale prices to the consumer until now. The Big Six energy suppliers (British Gas, E.On, SSE, ScottishPower, Npower and EDF) succumbed under the pressure and have now reduced the price of gas and electricity to the user. Other smaller suppliers have followed suit, some making even higher reductions than their larger counterparts.

Which? are still not satisfied because the consumer body found that the companies could have gone further in making sure their customer price plans were kept up to date with falling wholesale prices. The consumer champions campaign group say the cuts should have come much faster and been much larger.

Is it Worth Bothering?

Many of us will not receive these benefits unless we go to the effort of contacting our supplier and doing something about it. The thought of all that messing around though may seem like too much of a performance and maybe it’s not worth bothering. But the reality is that it really is worthwhile, especially for the amount of time and effort that’s involved.

But I’ve Recently Taken Out a Fixed Price Plan

Over recent years many households have been so nervous about the rising energy prices that most of us eventually switched to a fixed price plan.Even if you’ve taken out a fixed price plan within the past few months, there is still a lot of money you can probably shave off that particular household expense by exiting the contract you’re already in.

That will probably entail a penalty clause for changing or switching to another supplier. Therefore it is quite natural to think that it’s too expensive to switch and far easier to just stay put. But don’t be discouraged.

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Depending on what type of tariff you are on and with which supplier, there is the potential for the average household to save hundreds of pounds. This can be saved even after taking into consideration any penalty payment for moving away from a fixed priced deal early. So what other motivation is needed for switching from your current energy supplier?

Joe Malinowski, industry expert and founder of the energy price comparison website TheEnergyShop, says: “Given the speed with which the price of the cheapest energy deals has fallen over the past year, many consumers will be amazed by how uncompetitive their energy tariffs have become.”

Mr Malinowski added, “It’s not unusual to find you can now save between £300 and £400 annually on a tariff you might have signed up to less than 12 months ago. The potential savings are eye-popping.”

Okay then. How Do I Switch?

It would be sensible to have a chat with your existing energy supplier first to see what they can offer you. If you are not satisfied with their reply, and even if you are satisfied, still check out the competition first and get some price comparison. Also be aware that companies tend to reduce your payments if you choose to pay by direct debit and offer a further reduction if you opt for paperless bills.

Which? Switch is an easy way to compare. Enter your postcode to get started and follow on with a few simple steps.

There are various price comparison websites that can also help you find a good deal also. However, the ‘big five’, uSwitch, Go Compare, MoneySupermarket, Compare the Market and confused.com have just been accused of hiding the best deals from view in order to push others offering them higher company commissions.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is examining the role of price comparison sites whilst regulator, Ofgem, will introduce new regulations to the companies at the end of March. This will include having to show all deals that they have on offer and not just the ones they earn the best commissions on.

About the author

David Griffin David Griffin trained as a graphic designer and now helps PaydayLoan123 with social media. He is a born and bred Londoner who has recently moved out of the capital and is probably missing it a little too much. He enjoys fishing, playing golf and working out at the gym, when he feels energetic enough!

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