While most of us would love to live ‘off the grid’, sadly it isn’t always possible. There are lots of ideas throughout my website to help you reduce your consumption of mains electricity and gas. If only we could stop the energy suppliers putting the costs up! Lots of you have had big energy expenses again this winter. I’ve decided to do a little research about what you can do if you’re unhappy with your latest energy bill.
Mistake with the meter reading? – If you are unhappy with a bill, start by checking your meter readings. It is rare to find an error, but they can occur. If your meter reading is wrong, take a photo of it and phone your energy supplier’s customer helpline. They will adjust your account and send you a revised bill. Some people are lucky enough to have smart meters that send out accurate readings automatically. Most energy companies are trying to roll out the installation of smart meters. You could ask your supplier when yours may be due for this important upgrade.
Spread the cost? – Lots of us are getting combined gas and electricity bills these days. This means we have to pay for both all at once. There is the option to spread your energy costs. You can do this by setting up a direct debit with your current supplier. They analyse your annual usage and then work out an average monthly cost. This is taken from your bank account automatically. A direct debit means your energy costs should be roughly the same every month. You needn’t worry about getting a really huge bill in the winter.
Switching supplier – It is your right to switch supplier without penalty. However, this process is not instant. You must also clear any debt you have with your current supplier. To choose a supplier, you could use a price comparison website. These give you a list of possible companies that may be able to give you a better price over the course of a year. I strongly recommend you find some recent customer reviews before switching though. You should also consider the independent companies, and not just the big six. To make the switch, you’ll need to speak to the new company. Pick a company that is transparent about their charges and their customer service performance. For example, it seems First Utility have addressed their problems. Visit their website and look for what your chosen supplier is doing to improve things for customers. None of them are perfect, but some are doing more to improve than others.
Switching suppliers is not as straight forward and simple as it should be, but it’s a lot easier to do these days than before. It will still take about twenty-one days to happen. You may receive bills from both companies within a month of choosing to switch. Make sure there are no overlapping meter readings. The good news is your supply will not be interrupted. For potential savings of £200 a year, it is worth an afternoon of research to find your ideal energy supplier.