Busting the myths around energy switching


It’s an unfortunate fact that most people in the UK are paying more than they need to for their gas and electricity. While a small minority of energy customers will switch deals regularly to secure fairer prices and better service packages, the majority languish on default Standard Variable Tariffs year after year. Our UK consumer watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority recently reported that our nation’s energy consumers are paying out £1.4bn more than they should in bills each year. We’d like to see that change.

Are you a non-switcher?

If you’re one of the ‘non-switchers’, you could be missing out on savings of up to £300 each year. That’s a significant chunk of money to be giving away unnecessarily! Here at Don’t Waste Money, we’d like to help you become a ‘savvy switcher’. So, let’s take a look at some of the myths around switching which might have stopped you from getting a better deal in the past.

Myth: It’s too much hassle

A popular misconception, recently repeated by government minister Greg Clarke, who admitted to BBC Breakfast back in May, “I haven’t switched, one of the reasons is… it is quite hassle to do so”. While we agree with the Government that more can be done by the industry at large to help people get onto better energy deals, we like to think we’re leading the way and already offer households a quick, easy and straightforward way to switch. Yes, it will take a little time out of your day but, like any purchase you make, a bit of time spent shopping around can make a big difference to the money in your pocket.

We can explain all the options in a way you’ll really understand; we’ll show you your savings projection, talk you through the switching process and start the ball rolling. It only takes minutes to choose a deal and confirm your switch – the rest then happens behind the scenes. Perhaps you’ve already done an online price comparison but weren’t sure whether going on to switch would be ‘a hassle’, or perhaps you’re not someone who likes to manage their bills or other transactions online. Either way, we’re here to help.

‘About 5 million people used price comparison websites to search for energy deals last year, but less than half of those people went on to switch’.

The Competition and Markets Authority

Myth: The savings aren’t that great

It’s true that the savings available to each household will vary, depending on how recently you last switched, the area you live in and the amount of energy you use. If it’s been several years since you switched supplier, you could find that it’s possible to make savings of up to £300 a year compared to your current energy deal. If you’ve switched more recently, the savings amount might be closer to £200. The quickest and easiest way to find out what you could save is to use an online calculator tool or, if you prefer, by giving our Don’t Waste Money team a quick call. Then start planning all of the lovely things you could do with that extra cash – why not plan a little break or start a ‘rainy day fund’ so you really feel the benefit?

Myth: I’ll be on the phone to my supplier for ages

No – you won’t. The truth is you don’t need to call them at all. Everything can be done at the touch of a button by one of our team. If you have a home visit from us, you will receive a quick call from us afterwards, just to check you’re happy with everything and still want to go ahead after our team member has left. Your old supplier may contact you for a meter reading to make sure that your final bill is completely accurate and your new supplier may decide to give you a quick call out of courtesy before the switch completes, but if you decide not to take this call, it won’t affect the switching process. You’ll also usually receive a welcome pack and letter confirming everything and letting you know the date on which your switch will be complete. After this date, your bills will come from the new supplier.

Myth: My gas or electricity supply might be interrupted

At no time will your energy supplies be interrupted. You will continue to receive your supplies through the same pipes and cables and no additional work on the equipment that delivers energy to your home will be necessary. The only thing that will change is the company you must pay for the energy you use.

Myth: I’ll be charged extra for switching

Not necessarily. If you’re on a default Standard Variable Tariff (very likely if you haven’t switched for a few years) there will be no charge for you to end your contract with your old supplier. Some fixed term deals do have cancellation charges attached to them, so if you’ve switched more recently, it’s possible you will have to pay an exit fee to end your contract early. We’ll be happy to check the small print for you if you’re not sure and let you know how much this would be or when you’ll be able to make the change without incurring any extra costs. It’s also worth mentioning that there will be no overlap in charges. Your old supplier contract ends on the day that your new one begins, so you will never have to pay twice for the same energy.

Myth: All energy suppliers are the same

The past few years have been an exciting time in the energy world. There are now many new gas and electricity suppliers to choose from and when you decide to switch, you might be surprised to discover that a great price isn’t the only thing on offer. The brilliant thing about having lots of energy companies competing for your business is that they’re all working harder to give you better service too. It’s something we may sadly see less of if an energy price cap comes into force. There are also choices for those who want to be sure their energy comes from green sources, or cleaner nuclear ones; choices for those who want completely paperless billing, a meter reading app, or access to advice from a friendly voice at a UK call centre; and choices for those who want the flexibility to move suppliers again whenever they feel like it… the options are endless.

Why not chat to us about your energy? We can help you find the gas and electric or duel fuel deal to suit your needs, whether that’s simply the best available price or something more. Email or call today.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.