Switch your energy supplier today!
A recent study from MoneySuperMarket revealed nearly a quarter (23%) of UK energy consumers have never switched to a different supplier – remaining on standard variable tariffs which are often the most expensive.
With an average saving of over £250 often available, when you switch energy supplier, why are people not switching? Often, people believe they are on the right tariff, or that switching is a complex process.
“What’s interesting about the research is that people claim their tipping point to switch ranges from savings of £75 to £150 – yet they could actually save a much higher £250 on average by switching to a fixed rate tariff on a price comparison site today,” says Stephen Murray, Energy Expert at MoneySuperMarket.
"The research also shows that many consumers perceive switching as a hassle. In reality, switching provider only takes five minutes, and the cost of not switching from an expensive, standard variable tariff far outweighs such as small investment of time.”
Speaking to Habiplace, Alex Dickson, Head of Research at Switchcraft said: “If you don’t know the tariff, or worse, the name of the supplier you are with, chances are you are on a default or ‘standard variable tariff.’ You can usually spot them on a power bill by their innocuous titles – ‘flexible,’ ‘plan,’ ‘basic,’ or my personal favourite, ‘easy.’ Another trick is to call a default tariff by the company name – after all, in the context of a word-saturated bill, who’s going know the difference?”
Clearly, there is a level of stress that people feel when managing their energy needs. However, taking the time to understand your energy consumption, the tariff you are on with your current supplier, and how much you could potentially save if you switched, is time well spent.
The green deal
As the renewable and green energy supplier market has expanded, younger consumers in particular are increasingly moving to these tariffs. Indeed, MoneySuperMarket found one in five of those aged 18 to 24 often didn’t have enough information about the switching process to make an informed decision, with 21% stating green energy tariffs would be a factor in any decision to switch suppliers.
2018 was a watershed moment for energy production as the UK began to produce half of its energy needs from renewable sources. The issue consumers often face, is whether a green tariff is as green as it appears to be.
The Energy Saving Trust says: “We’d recommend taking a close look at how your supplier operates when it comes to putting together your green tariff. Some are definitely greener than others in terms of how much they support the renewables industry in the UK. This is because of the way the renewable energy market works.
“For every 1 MWh of renewable electricity created by a solar farm or other renewable energy generator, OFGEM (the energy regulator) issues an accompanying certificate, known as a REGO. There are two ways for a renewable generator to make money from this energy: Selling the electricity itself and selling the REGO certificate.
“The certificate and the electricity won’t necessarily be sold together. Excess certificates are available because sometimes – such as when it’s very sunny or windy, there’s more energy generated than is immediately needed. At these times, the solar or wind farms can sell the certificates, even when they can’t sell the electricity. It provides them with a stable income and is a good thing on the whole for the industry.”
If you are in a position to switch your tariff, and want to buy from a green energy producer, closely check their credentials before you switch. According the Energy Saving Trust, these are the current leaders in this marketplace, as they have verifiable green energy production credentials. Bulb, Good Energy, Green Energy UK and Ecotricity.
The more information you have about your energy consumption, the better. Armed with this information, you can then look for the best tariff for your precise needs and, decide whether a green energy supplier can offer you the energy you need, at the right price.
Understanding your energy consumption starts at home. The current drive to install smart meters in every UK home continues. A question often asked is if you install a smart meter and then switch suppliers, will the smart meter still operate?
Switching suppliers could affect how your current smart meter works. It all depends on whether a first or second-generation meter has been fitted in your home. In some cases, the meter may switch back to being an ordinary meter with no smart functionality until an upgrade from your new energy supplier occurs. In all cases, though, you can still see how much energy your home is using no matter which type of smart meter you have installed.
Reading your bills and understanding how your home consumes energy is now easier than it has ever been. Using your smartphone with an app from uSwitch makes understanding your bills as easy as scanning the QR code your bill will usually contain. Use this information to understand your energy consumption. With this information in-hand, you can be confident you will find the best tariff for your needs.
“I think the way things are going, we can expect consumers to play a much larger role in UK energy, and that’s a good thing,” concluded Switchcraft’s Alex Dickson. “Automation already allows customers to move seamlessly to the best energy deals available. Smart meters are making billing more accurate, giving households more time to think about usage and where their energy is coming from. Companies like Habiplace that treat energy as a service-based around the home offer an easy way to manage your energy needs.”
With over 60 energy suppliers and the big six offering over 200 different tariffs, what’s needed is a way to see your home in the entire energy landscape.
Habiplace is a new way to oversee every aspect of running your home. Ensuring you are always on the right tariff is fast and efficient when you use the Habiplace dashboard. With energy prices increasing year-on-year, we all need to take more control and save ourselves potentially hundreds of pounds.