Gas and electricity Updated:
The last 12 months have seen energy customers become increasingly dissatisfied with their supplier. Poor service, incorrect bills and the constant stream of price hikes have left a huge number of households – an estimated two million, in fact – ditching the big six in favour of smaller alternatives, often hoping to cut costs in the process. Is it time you did the same?
Well, it could definitely be time to consider it. For several months now, the lowest priced deals have all come from smaller, independent energy suppliers. These include the likes of First:Utility, Ovo, Co-operative Energy, Ecotricity and The Utility Warehouse – not big names, but that shouldn't put you off.
These small companies may be the new kids on the block but they've been steadily growing in popularity, building up their customer base as people decide that being loyal to the big six doesn't always pay. It's been widely reported that only these kinds of smaller companies offer fixed price tariffs that cost less than £1,000 per year, so we thought we'd put it to the test.
A quick tariff search, based on medium energy usage in the Moneyfacts local area, confirms the theory, with only Extra Energy, First:Utility, Co-operative Energy, Ovo and Green Star Energy offering tariffs that cost less than £1,000. The cheapest of those currently available comes from Extra Energy, which charges just £945 per year, fixed until September 2015.
Of course, this is just based on our own search criteria, but chances are you'll have similar results. Some of the big six weren't too far behind – Scottish Power charged £1,008, closely followed by EDF at £1,009 – but if you're not happy with your current supplier, it could well be time to switch.
Latest figures from energyhelpline.com show that customers could save up to £393 by doing so, and the savings could be particularly marked for those that have never taken the plunge and looked elsewhere. Service will come into it as well, but again, the big six invariably fall to the bottom of the customer satisfaction charts.
So, could you save money by switching? Often, the answer will be a big fat YES, but to really know for sure you need to do a bit of research. Use our handy comparison tool to get you started – all you'll need is a few details of your current energy usage and you're good to go!
Find a new energy supplier.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.