Moving house is probably one of the most stressful things we will do in our lives. With so much going on during the move, some things may fall by the wayside – such as checking whether you are paying too much for your gas and energy bills.
But, it doesn’t need to be like this! Comparing and switching utilities suppliers can be a quick and easy way to save money on your outgoing costs. Here we share our top tips to help you save money on utility bills.
Switch utility providers
Knowing how to save on utility bills can be tough!
However, probably the easiest way to make the biggest savings is to make sure you are not paying more than you need to for your utilities. You can see if you could be getting a more attractive deal simply by using an online energy comparison service.
Simply enter your postcode and a few more details (such as who supplies your current gas and electricity deals and how much you spend on average for your bills). After this, the utility comparison service will tell you whether you are on the most cost-effective energy deal – or not – by calculating how much you could be paying.
When carrying out your comparisons, make sure that you take in to account any exit fee your current supplier may charge and remove this from the overall cost savings.
Also, note that generally, dual fuel deals (where you get your gas and electricity from the same supplier) often work out cheaper than getting them from two different suppliers, as our table below demonstrates.
Once you have carried out the cost comparisons and decide to switch suppliers, you can do this quickly and easily online, through the same energy comparison service.
Switching utility providers when moving house
If you’re moving home, you can start comparing your options before you move in. Do note, however, that you cannot legally request a switch to a different provider until you are the legal owner of the property (i.e. you have the keys in your hand).
Even if you switch energy suppliers on the day you move in, it can still take up to 21 days for the new supplier to take over the account. So, the sooner you compare utility suppliers, the more potential you have to save money on your gas and electricity bills.
Whether you’re renting or buying, dealing with utilities when you move should, therefore, be considered a priority.
Before you move:
There are some important things to remember when switching utility providers before you move:
- Consider if you want to take your current tariff to your new home – but make sure you carry out an energy cost comparison first to find the most appropriate deal.
- Inform your supplier at least 48 hours before you move – they can start organising final bills if you’re changing supplier.
- Check if any cancellation fees apply (some suppliers will waive this as you are moving home).
- Take meter readings from your old property on the day you move, thus ensuring you will have an accurate final bill.
After you move:
Once you’ve moved, ensure you do the following:
- Take meter readings in the new property as soon as you move in. You will need to give them to the current supplier if the previous occupant hasn’t done so already, as you won’t want to pay for their energy usage.
- Establish what type of meters the property has.
- Remember, if you haven’t set up a new deal with an energy supplier, you will likely be put on their standard tariff (which is usually the most expensive).
If your bills remain sky high, run an energy comparison on your property and find out instantly if there is a more cost-effective deal you could be on.
What if there is a prepayment meter in my new home?
If your new home has a prepayment meter in it – this is where you have to pay for your gas and electricity upfront – you can still check to see if it is worth switching energy supplier.
Nearly every supplier has at least one prepayment tariff available and, some plans are more cost-effective than others. It’s worth checking to see if you could switch prepayment meter plans to save on your utility bills.
Have someone else manage your utilities
Did you know that there are companies who can manage your utilities for you?
They take the onus away from you having to hunt around and find the most suitable deals. They constantly monitor the markets and know how to efficiently manage your energy usage, helping you save on both costs of energy and the amount of energy you use.
Using one of these services may be worth considering if you really haven’t got the time to manage your bills yourself.
How to save on utility bills
Finally, switching energy suppliers isn’t the only way to save money on your bills. You can do your bit too, by taking steps to use less energy such as:
- Switching off lights when you leave a room.
- Using energy saving light bulbs.
- Improving insulation in the walls and the loft.
- Investing in a new boiler.
- Flushing out your central heating system to clear it of debris, so it works more efficiently.
- Installing solar panels.
- Draughtproofing your windows.
- Turn down your thermostat a degree – it will make a cost saving.
Need to switch utilities?