Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
I’ve been on a load of TV and radio programmes this week talking about how loyalty doesn’t pay when it comes to utility companies – or any other company come to that – and you should switch now.
It is true, seriously, that you could save yourself around £200 (depending on what your bills are like now) by switching to a different gas and electricity company…or just switching to a different plan with your current provider.
So make tonight the night that you save yourself £200, simply by going online and switching your gas and electricity.
Generally people who haven’t switched for years say it’s because
But they’re missing out on easy money!
You can actually switch in about ten minutes if you just put your postcode into the comparison page and take the cheapest option (checking first that it really is cheaper than what you’re paying now).
Or, get your bills out, fill in the questions a little more accurately and you will get a MUCH cheaper option in a bit more like 15 minutes. Once you’ve filled in your details etc you’re home and dry, saving around £200 a year (remember that’s just £16.60 a month…it all adds up).
In a word: yes.
Why? Because if you stick with the same supplier they will take you for granted and just increase your annual payments.
Why? Because they can. You’re not complaining, you’re not stopping them.
Loyalty really does’t pay when it comes to energy.
Apparently energy customers have lost between £158 to £234 a year by being loyal to the Big Six suppliers, according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). What a waste!
It’s the same with insurance companies – particularly car insurance where there’s actually a lot of competition and you could be saving £100s by switching. If you don’t the insurance company just puts the price up…because they can.
I know it feels like a major effort to go to a comparison site, get your latest bills out and find a cheaper deal, but actually it won’t take you more than half an hour.
If you think about the fact that you could effectively make about £200 (over the year) with half an hour’s ‘work’, that’s not a bad deal.
But by the far the quickest and easiest is simply to switch your provider!
You don’t even have to do it online either. If you don’t want to do it on the computer, just pick up the phone and call your current provider. Tell them you’re leaving unless they give you a MUCH better deal…and they will.
If you have a bit of time of your hands you could call round all the utilities companies and see who gives you the best offer on the phone. Sometimes you can get a better deal that way than online because they have room for negotiation when it’s on the phone.
There isn’t one except that the comparison sites make money when you do. That’s why you will hear a lot of them telling you to switch…now!
It’s true what you’ve read in the press recently – some of the comparison sites do make a lot of money (the names you know will tend to make the most).
But then remember it costs you nothing to use them. Given that they have to pay teams of people to put the site together and keep it updated, they need to make some money.
Generally they make about £30 per sale (we get £15 every time you switch to another supplier through our comparison service).
The questions you need to ask yourself are:
Also, you could just use the comparison site as a guide and then call up your current provider and tell them you will leave unless they can match the deal you’ve found online. It’s quite likely that they will be able to match it (it’s amazing how they can find the money when they have to!). That way you will save money and won’t have to do anything.
If you can’t be bothered getting your latest bills out, just put your postcode in the postcode box and it will come up with a list of the cheapest providers they can find for your area.
Check the rates with your latest payments (have a look on your bank statement) and if you can see a big difference in monthly price (remember even £5 is a big difference over the year – that’s £60) then switch.
It’s that easy.
Better still is to take a look at your latest bills and fill in the boxes asking you about kilowatt hours used etc.
If you’re having problems understanding your bills take a look at Ofgem’s website Goenergyshopping.co.uk which I’ve been promoting over the last few months. It’s a good, informative site and explains all the tricky terms and how to go about switching.
So set yourself just HALF AN HOUR this evening in which you are going to make yourself well over £100, if not £200 or even £300 by switching utilities. That’s not a bad half hour’s work!
So have you switched an saved a shedload of money? Tell us about it.
Have you switched and been unhappy? Tell us about it.
Do you think it’s all a big con? Have you switched and hated the experience? Tell us about it in the comments below. We would love to have a conversation with you 🙂