One of the easiest ways to cut your bills is to make sure you get the best energy deal in the first place.
Choosing the right tariff could save you hundreds of pounds a year. Compare gas and electricity prices to find the best deal on the market using our independent switching service
How to compare energy deals
The more information you give a price comparison service, the more accurate your saving quote will be. Use these tips to make sure you’re offered the very best deal.
1– Find out how much energy you use
Use your annual statement from your energy supplier or your last year’s worth of bills to find out the name of the tariff(s) you’re on and how much gas and electricity (kWh) you use.
Figures from your annual bill will get you the most accurate results when searching, but if you’re not able to find this out you can estimate your usage. See our guide to estimating how much energy you use.
2– Look for the best energy deals
Once you’ve given a comparison site your information, you’ll be able to compare the deals available to you – online tariffs are generally cheaper, and getting your gas and electricity from the same supplier via a dual-fuel deal will usually earn you a discount.
3– Fixed or capped tariffs?
You could consider signing up to a fixed or capped tariff to protect yourself from future price rises – but they’re likely to be more expensive at first. Take a look at our guide to energy tariffs and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
4— Check terms and conditions
Before you switch energy supplier, check the terms and conditions and be aware of exit fees that may apply if you leave the tariff within a set period.
In a telesales investigation we ran in August and November 2011, we weren’t told about the exit fees that applied to the tariffs we were recommended in a third of the calls we made – so if you are speaking to an energy supplier over the phone you should ask explicitly about exit fees. Find out more about the best way to switch in our guide to switching energy supplier.
5— Change how you pay
You can get a discount off your energy bills if you pay by monthly direct debit. The amount you pay each month will be worked out by your gas or electricity supplier based on the amount of energy you use or are likely to use in each year, divided by 12. Take a look at our guide to paying your energy bill by direct debit for more tips on keeping your payments in check.
If you don’t want to set up a direct debit and prefer to pay by cash or cheques, some companies offer a discount for paying your bill promptly. It is worth asking your supplier if it offers this.