We switched our energy supplier last year but this year our energy bill has increased. What can we do?

Q: We switched energy supplier in 2015, but in August this year our electricity bill went from £200 to £300. Obviously we'll look to switch but what should I watch for next time?


Anyone switching should be aware of the fact that many suppliers, if not most, will entice a customer in with a low tariff with a view to making their profits in years 2, 3 etc by ratcheting up the costs. In addition, if you switch to a variable contract be very aware that the supplier has the right, with 30 days notice, to change their prices. A very aggressive energy supplier at the end of last year and the beginning of this year attracted a lot of consumers to their variable tariff because it was so cheap. That tariff just went up by 30% in the last week.

So my two bits of advice would be; if you want certainty and the knowledge that the tariff value you switch to will remain at that price then make sure the tariff prices are fixed; and secondly, understand the drivers behind cheap deals and diarise to look around 49 days in advance of the end of your tariff so that you can ensure you don’t roll onto a very expensive tariff. This is the sort of thing you need to do every year.

Answered by Guy Thompson, My Utility Genius


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