Top tips to avoid energy price hikes
The Big 6 Energy Suppliers got a telling off by Watchdog for exploiting their customers and leaving them on the most expensive tariff. Arm yourself with our top tips to avoid paying more than you need to for your heating and electricity.
1. Don’t pay increased prices
Don’t pay them – switch to a better deal. There shouldn’t be a penalty or exit fee for switching away from them because the price change is effectively a change in the contract you originally signed up to. You just need to tell your energy supplier you wish to leave by the date the higher prices come into effect.
2. Give regular meter readings
You should always give regular meeting readings. It means the energy companies can’t then do generic estimates and you’re paying for what you actually use.
This is particularly important where energy companies do increase prices. If your estimates were too low, the new meter reading will be much higher, and you could end up paying the new, higher prices for energy you used before they went up. This is known as a ‘catch-up’ bill. If your supplier has changed the prices on your tariff during the time you were receiving estimated bills, contact them to make sure they properly spread the extra units over the entire billing period.
3. Read your meter on the day the prices rise
Unless your energy supplier happens to read your meter on the day your prices change, suppliers have to estimate how many units you have used up until the day of the price increase. That means you could potentially be charged too much for the period before the energy price rise comes into force.
To avoid this, submit a gas and electricity meter reading to your energy company on the day the price change happens, so it has an accurate reading of how much you’ve used pre- and post-price increase.
4. If you’re not happy, complain
It’s not everyone’s favourite thing to do, but if you’re unhappy with the service you need to complain.
If you aren’t happy with the service, or if your supplier is being sluggish about how they deal with your request to end a contract where the tariff has changed or deal with a query about over charging, then make your complaint heard with our guidance on how to complain.
If your supplier doesn’t give you a satisfactory response within eight weeks then you have the right to take your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.
5. Compare and switch
You won’t get rewarded for customer loyalty. So don’t pay more for your brand allegiance. Compare what you’re currently paying with what you could be paying with other suppliers. Switching with us is easy – we even have a call centre so you can talk to real humans if you get stuck – and you won’t see an interruption to your energy supply.