Around 2 years ago I was looking through my post and it was that really busy month when ALL of my policies seemed to be renewing at the same time, all the letters managed to hit the doormat in the same few days – I am sure I’m not alone with this happening, you move into a house and take out your house insurance: buildings insurance, contents insurance, then you’ve the water bills, TV licence, council tax, Gas and Electricity bills – all (or most are paid monthly) but when all the renewals come at once it is so much easier to just quickly glance at them than to actually sit and work out if you could get them cheaper elsewhere.
It was a time when for us money was tight so I began to take a closer look at these bills and to open them, read through them and start to compare them to see if I could reduce our monthly costs instead of just letting these auto-renew each month.
Some were easier to do than others, for example there are lots of comparison sites for car insurance quotes and once I had a much cheaper figure staring back at me in black and white I was able to ring my current insurer with that quote and surprise surprise my renewal quote was reduced – I did actually switch to another company who were even cheaper still. Now every year when the car renewal price comes in I do make a point of looking around. It takes around 20 minutes and I have managed to save around £120.
I am now looking around to switch energy providers, it sounds scary but actually now I have begun looking it isn’t as bad as I had feared. Firstly it is a good idea to take a good look at your monthly bills to see what you are currently paying for, how much gas and electricity you are using and name of the tariff you’ll need to be on. You can find more information on tariffs here.
This may seem a little more daunting than switching car insurance providers but that’s because many of us don’t understand the different tariffs available and which are best suited to our needs – with car insurance you really need to just know who will be driving, the make and model of the car and whether you want 3rd party or fully comp.
Things to take note of are:
- The name of your energy tariff and the unit rates
- Your energy consumption figure costs
- Any exit fees if you are on a fixed term tariff and are planning to leave early
Once you have these figures you can then call around or use the comparison sites to find a cheaper provider. The energy regulator Ofgem’s Be An Energy Shopper website has lots of details on understanding your tariff, switching suppliers and each page answers all of the FAQ’s you may have, such as – can I switch if I am a student, or can I switch if I am in credit or in debt with my current supplier?
I will be looking through the list of Ofgem approved comparison sites which you can find here a little more closely this week before making my final switch decision but I am now confident that I can save around £90 a year at the very least.
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