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From the blog

Switching – it’s not as hard as you think!

by Emma Thurley

I have been PECT’s resident Warm Homes Officer for the past six months and one of the most common things said to me during a home visit is that switching energy supplier or tariff is “too much of a hassle and won’t save me much”.

In fact, switching can save over £300 a year and is hassle-free! At PECT we also like to make this process even easier. If you’d like help with switching energy supplier or tariff, why not book a free home visit with us by emailing warmhomes@pect.org.uk or by calling 01733 568408. If you just want to learn a bit more about the switching process, read on as I debunk some common myths!

Myth number 1: I won’t save enough money to make it worthwhile switching

If you’ve never switched supplier and instead simply let your old deal or contract come to an end without switching to a new one, you will automatically have been put on your supplier’s standard variable tariff. This means you will be subject to the most expensive rates. Switching off your standard variable tariff can almost guarantee you savings. Why not see how much you can save by running a quick energy comparison? Take a look at https://save.greenenergyswitch.co.uk/

Myth 2: The energy price cap means I don’t need to switch

Whilst the energy price cap was introduced as a price protection for 11 million customers on poor value default tariffs, as of April 2019, the level of the cap has already increased by £117 per year. This isn’t much of a guarantee! Plus, realistically, you won’t be capped at all as you pay for the energy you use. Ultimately, the best way to get a cheaper deal is to move onto a tariff with cheaper rates. Remember to look at the standing charge, price per unit of electricity, and price per unit of gas. If these are lower than your current tariff, then you’re guaranteed to save on your bills!

Myth 3: I will be charged twice during the switch

Thanks to the Energy Switch Guarantee you don’t have to worry about this. This guarantees that the switching process will be handled by the provider you are switching to. It guarantees a reliable switch in 21 days. You will continue to use your current energy supplier until the last day, meaning that your electricity or gas supply will never be cut off. If you change your mind within the first two weeks, you will remain with your current supplier and nothing will change. Any previous credit on your account will be refunded within 14 days of your last energy bill.

Myth 4: I’m in debt to my energy supplier so I can’t switch

This isn’t actually the case! Struggling to pay your bills is probably the biggest reason to switch to a cheaper deal. If you have been in debit for 28 days or less and the debt is less than £500 you can still switch. The money owed however will be added to your final bill from your old supplier. If you’re on a prepayment meter and your debt is less than £500, you will instead have to ask the new supplier to agree to transfer your debt as well as your supply.

If you have been in debt longer than this time period and have accumulated more than £500, you should contact your energy suppliers. Energy suppliers are actually great at helping with debt related issues. They can give you information on how to avoid getting into debt as well as providing you with a debt repayment plan.

Switching is a simpler process than it has ever been. If you need help or support with switching or anything energy related, you can book a free home visit on warmhomes@pect.org.uk or by calling 01733 568408.