Energy Bills increase 2022
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year you’ll know that there are a lot of problems with the energy Industry at the moment, a lot of suppliers have gone bust, tariffs seem to be on the rise and it is set to continue And as usual it’s the customer who picks up the bill.
With the price cap going up in April, and potentially again in October if not before it is likely going to mean higher prices for consumers.
We thought it would help if we broke down some of the different options for energy customers in the UK
We have looked at those on a fixed tariff and those on a variable one and of course we’ve explained the basics of both for you to decide what is best for you.
What is a fixed energy tariff?
A fixed tariff is where you pay the same amount each month for the duration of your agreement this will not change until the tariff ends which is typically a year but can be two years too.
The main benefit of a fixed energy tariff is you are protected from price rises – as long as you are using a normal amount of energy – if you use a significantly higher amount then your provider is likely to increase your direct debit.
You should be able to see whether you are on a fixed tariff by checking your bill or logging into your online account with your energy provider.
What is a Variable energy tariff?
A variable energy tariff can change in price at any time with as little as a months notice, although it is limited by the price cap.
If you are not on a fixed deal then you will be on one of these default tariffs.
The price cap is reviewed twice a year, so you can expect your variable price to move in line with any changes. You are always free to switch from a variable tariff – there are no exit fees.
What can I do to reduce my energy bills?
The most effective thing you can do to reduce your bills is simply use less energy, it’s a difficult one because we’re all very used to our lives and everything we use seems to need to be plugged in.
We recommend that you try and reduce how much energy you’re using everyday such as turning everything off when you’re not using it such as your lights, your internet, your Sky or Virgin Box & consoles.
We also recommend using energy at a time when it costs less for example at night energy can be up to 50% cheaper, this tends to be from 10pm until 6am bit can vary depending on your provider.
A handy tip is to set your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher to be on during these hours.
We also recommend having heating set on a timer so it only comes on during the coldest parts of the day when you’re more likely to need it rather than it being on all day.
DID YOU KNOW?
49% of consumers say they have never switched, or have only switched once.^ Make sure you’re not missing out on a better deal.
What to do if your Supplier goes bust
If you were with an energy supplier that went out of business, don’t panic. The most important thing to know is that your energy supply remains in place so It doesn’t matter what happens to your supplier, this will continue and you’ll still be able to use gas & electric in the normal manner.
If your switch is completed then you have moved to Ofgem’s nominated choice of supplier, and you’ll be on a variable tariff.
My supplier went bust: my Energy switch is in progress
Again, your energy supply is protected. If you’re currently in this limbo period where you are being switched to another supplier, Ofgem advises you to wait for the switch to be completed, otherwise it can really complicate the process.
Once the switch is complete, you’ll be placed on a variable tariff and you’ll be free to switch at any time.
In February 2022 Ofgem announced early that it would be increasing the price cap by 54% meaning consumers would end up paying almost £700 a year extra in energy.
Switch your energy in minutes – save up to £400 a year
How switching with Appliance Deals works
- Enter your details
Answer a few quick questions and then we can find you some great energy deals based on your location and usage.
- Compare the best deals
Once we’ve got your prices we’ll help you compare the best ones, and we can answer any questions you have too.
- We’ll handle the switch
With us there’s no obligation, but if you want to take one of the energy deals then we’ll handle it all for you free of charge.
Switching Energy Supplier FAQs
Who is the cheapest energy supplier?
The cheapest supplier for you depends on where you live, plus how much energy you use. So, what might be the cheapest for someone else, won’t necessarily be the cheapest for you.
That’s why it’s important to run a comparison – telling us some key details about where you live and your energy habits allows us to find the cheapest deals for you.
Once you’ve found an energy deal that suits you, you can choose to sign up for alerts with Energy Monitor. We’ll keep an eye on the market and let you know when it’s time to switch again.
I’ve never heard of this company ?
Every single energy supplier in the UK is regulated by Ofgem, the industry regulator. This means that the smaller, lesser-known companies must follow exactly the same rules as the bigger, more established ones. If a company goes bust, you’ll be covered by Ofgem – they’ll ensure your supply isn’t cut off, and they’ll appoint a new supplier to take over your tariff.
How do I choose the right tariff?
When you’re choosing a new energy deal, think about whether to go for dual fuel (where you get both your gas and electricity from the same company) or separate tariffs (where you get gas from one company, and electricity from another). It’s worth checking both options, as the combined price of separate tariffs can sometimes be less than a dual fuel offer.
Think about whether you’d like to go for a fixed deal or a variable deal. Fixed deals can be a bit more expensive at the beginning, but you’ll know that your bills won’t suddenly jump during the fixed term.
The way you pay your bills can also affect the price – you can often get a discount for paying by direct debit, and for managing your account online, with no paper communications.
Do I need to tell my current supplier?
No. When you’ve chosen a new deal, your new supplier will handle the switching process. They’ll contact you to let you know what date you’ll be transferred over, and they’ll contact you around the switching date to ask for a meter reading. They’ll pass this on to your old supplier so they can send you a final bill. You don’t need to contact your old supplier either – your new supplier will handle it.
Do I need to cancel my Direct Debit?
Yes. When you close your account with your old supplier, they will send you a final bill. Once this payment has gone out of your account, you should cancel your Direct Debit. If your account is in credit, the supplier should send you the balance.
Will my gas and electricity be interrupted if I switch?
Absolutely not. Switching suppliers is smooth and seamless and there’s no downtime while the switch is taking place. So you can rest assured you won’t be without an energy supply at any time.
Better still, unless you’re getting a smart meter installed you won’t an engineer to visit your home either.
What is the difference between fixed and variable-rate tariffs?
Fixed-rate tariffs offer the security of knowing that the price you pay per unit of energy will be fixed for the duration of your plan. This is usually for one or two years.
That means that as you’re on this plan your rate will be set in stone and won’t go up even if your supplier announces it is rising prices.
Variable-rate tariffs work differently. When you’re on this type of tariff, the price you pay per unit of energy could go up or down, depending on how your supplier reacts to price fluctuations in the wholesale energy market.
As you may have learned from experience, it’s pretty unusual for suppliers to cut prices. It’s much more common for them to hike their rates.
Can I switch energy supplier if I owe money?
That depends on how long you’ve owed the money to your current supplier. If you’ve owed money for 28 days or less, you’re free to switch. In this instance, the money you owe will be added to final bill from the supplier that you’re leaving.
But if you’ve been in debt for more than 28 days, the situation is different. In this case, you generally won’t be able to switch until you’ve paid the sum owing.
The exceptions are if culpability for the debt lies with the supplier you’d like to leave. For instance, if they billed you incorrectly.
The rules are also different if you’re on a pre-payment meter. In these circumstances, you’ll only be prevented from switching if your debt to your current supplier exceeds £500.
I’m moving home. How can I switch gas and electricity?
If your address is changing, you may want to close your account or ask if you can transfer your service to your new property.
Whichever you choose to do, you’ll get in touch with your supplier at least two days before you move to inform them and give them your new address. That’s so they’ll know where to send your final bill.
It’s also a good idea to take meter readings and give these to your existing supplier, so you’ve got records in case there’s a dispute with billing.
When you move in to the new property, once again you’ll need to take readings and settle your final bill when. And most importantly, you should find out which energy company supplies your new address.