SOME 15million households will see energy bills rise by almost £100 a year due to a hike in the price cap – but be savvy and you can save up to £200.
The move affects families on “standard” tariffs — who have stayed loyal to their supplier and not switched in the past year.
Their annual bills will go up by £96 to £1,138 from April 1. It is a blow for customers who have seen the price cap keep bills under control until now, after a campaign by HOAR to stop punishing loyalty.
But all can cut bills by switching. The cheapest tariffs on the market are just under £950, giving a saving of £193 for the typical family on a standard deal.
But meanwhile, a further four million households with pre-payment meters could see their bills jump by £87 to £1,156.
The latest announcement more than wipes out gains customers made in October, when the price cap dropped by £84 to a record low not seen since the policy was introduced in January 2019. So here is how to save . . .
PRICE COMPARISON WEBSITES: These make it easy to compare prices — and switch — in as little as ten minutes. There are five big players — Compare the Market, uSwitch, MoneySuperMarket.com, GoCompare.com and Confused.com.
To get quotes you only need your postcode and either a recent energy bill or to be able to answer questions regarding the size of your house, its heating system and how many people live there. You can then click on a tab to be taken to the energy supplier’s website, where you need to enter more information.
DO NOT SWITCH – BUT STILL SAVE MONEY: Families who have been with their energy firm more than a year should be able to get a better deal just by phoning them up. Or they can use a new service from website Is My Bill Fair, called Stay and Save. This can help you to get a better deal with your current power company, with just a few clicks rather than having to call up. It works with British Gas, E.ON, EDF, SSE and Shell Energy for now, with more coming.
Since trialling the new Stay and Save service at the end of last year, in 2021 ismybillfair.com has already saved customers an average of £144 over 12 months without them needing to even switch suppliers. Whether you call up or use Is My Bill Fair, these are great options if you do not want to switch suppliers or do not have the time to shop around for quotes.
AUTO-SWITCHING: Forgetful or lazy? Auto-switching sites are for those who can-not remember to switch or cannot be bothered to do it themselves. They basically look after your energy bills and every year switch you on to the cheapest gas and electricity deals possible from a decent supplier.
It is great for those who want to save cash without the legwork. But bear in mind that you will not always get the cheapest deals because the sites can be picky about which suppliers they work with. The Weflip, Look After My Bills, Switchcraft and Labrador sites all offer the service for free.