This savings tip is a guest post from our friends at MoneySuperMarket.com!
This is mainly applicable to our British readers, but there are similar services starting to pop up in the United States. Be sure to do some research to see if this is an option for you!
When it comes to sourcing your gas and electricity, it is often confusing and can lead to you paying far more than you need to. The cost of living is always going up, so now it is more important than ever to make sure you’re getting the best price and saving money.
One important thing to consider are the hidden costs. Read on for some pointers that will help you find the perfect supplier, and save your money:
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Set up direct debit, save money
Set up regular, scheduled payments directly from your bank account and you may qualify for savings as high as five or 10 percent.
Energy suppliers like having the peace of mind knowing that they can automatically draft the money out of your account. You get a discount for paying your bill, that sounds like a decent deal to me.
Even if you might be perfectly happy with the cost of your supply, it pays to look online. You may well discover that even your very own supplier’s prices are cheaper online!
You shop around for car insurance, and cell phone plans, so why not save money on gas and electricity. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen a company beat their own price. With a simple phone call, they’ll typically match their lower price. One short phone call can save a lot of money!
Save money by shopping around
While it is likely that you’ll find cheaper deals online, you can go further to find even better savings – and price comparison sites are a fantastic tool you can use to help you do all the dirty work.
If you are looking for a cheaper energy supply, you can use your comparison site to compare gas and electricity prices – you’ll have to enter your details only once, and the site will search its database of energy suppliers in order come up with the best deals on offer, based on the details you entered.
Conduct regular meter readings
Whenever you find a bill in your mailbox, make sure you take a meter reading. If you don’t, you risk being either overcharged every month or, worse, being undercharged, which will result in you having to pay a huge sum of money out at the end of the year.
Never rely on your energy supplier’s estimate, because it’s just that: an estimate. The energy supplier will ensure that they are paid every cent they are owed, even if it was their billing error!
Use less energy
This is an obvious way to save, but we can’t neglect to mention it: are you and your family truly aware of how much energy you use and waste? Training yourself and your family to turn down thermostats, turn off unnecessary air conditioning, turn off lights, and stop leaving appliances plugged in will save a lot of money. It will be easy if you can form habits and it won’t take long to turn those bad habits into good ones.
You may just need to remind yourself. One suggestion I can think of is to set up reminders on your email calendar, or cell phone at certain times to unplug things. After a few weeks of really annoying reminders, you’ll have the habits formed.