Why You Should Start Thinking about Your Winter Fuel Bills Now

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Hooray!  The sun has finally arrived!  And who knows, maybe this time it will stay for a while and we’ll all be having barbeques in November!  Okay, so that probably won’t happen and whoever is in charge of sun distribution to the UK will continue to run up a hefty debt to us all as we crank up the heating again and moan about the rain.

But you know that phrase about making hay while the sun shines?  Well it turns out that summer is a good time to look at your electricity prices to see whether you are getting a good deal or whether you should start thinking about switching supplier.

The reason that summer is a good time to switch is that you will probably be in credit.  Most people pay a monthly direct debit for their electricity and gas, which is calculated by your energy supplier based on how much you usually use each year.  You will normally use less electricity in the summer than you do in the winter but your direct debit remains the same each month.  So in winter you rack up a bit of debt but it gets cleared and you go into credit by the end of summer. 

If you do your research through an online energy comparison site and find that another supplier is offering cheaper electricity prices for the sort of wattage you use then you can switch to that supplier very quickly and easily.  And if you’re in credit, you won’t need to settle any outstanding debt or charges to your old supplier. 

For some reason, though, very few people (something like 8 out of 10 people) never change supplier, rain or shine.  The reasons for this aren’t really known, because we are now pretty good at haggling and shopping around for other financial products like car or house insurance.  But for some reason the public is very wary of changing energy supplier.  Maybe it’s because we only bother to shop around for car and house insurance because we’re sent an annual bill for the following year that makes us choke on our tea and head straight for the computer to find a cheaper quote.  Perhaps if energy bills were sent to us in advance with a yearly renewal notice we would all be more inclined to shop around?

But for now, most people seem to be content to be ignorant of the savings they could be making by looking for an energy supplier that offers cheaper electricity prices: perhaps we hope that we will be told by our existing energy supplier that they are charging us more than their competitors?

Or maybe we just think it’s more hassle than it’s worth to change energy suppliers, perhaps fearing blackouts or burglar alarms going off in the dead of night as our old supplier cuts us off unceremoniously and well before the new supplier takes over.

Well, that just won’t happen.  Changing supplier is beautifully orchestrated and you will move flawlessly from one supplier to another, saving money on your electricity prices and feeling very pleased with yourself for not being taken for a ride any longer.  And if you’ve never switched before, you could find yourself better off to the tune of £300 or more per year.  More than enough to warrant a few more burgers on the barbeque this November.

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