The spiralling cost of home energy has led households to look to alternatives, and one of those options traditionally has been to look to switch energy supplier. But are there really any real benefits to be had by switching energy supplier in 2023?
While in the past it often paid off to shop around for a new energy supplier, the energy price cap means that savings can be hard to come by, and that’s if you can even get an energy supplier to take you on as a new customer. That said, as well as any cost savings, there are multiple other benefits to be had from switching your energy supplier that should not be overlooked.
What are the benefits of switching energy supplier?
- Cost savings
- Green energy tariffs
- Customer service benefits
This is the most common reason for energy customers wanting to switch supplier and there are sometimes benefits to be had for switching, or even staying with your existing supplier but switching tariff instead. While the current energy price crisis means that some suppliers are not taking on customers, and you may not always be able to make savings from switching, it is at least the prudent thing to check to see if you might be better off by finding a new energy supplier.
Green energy tariffs
While not always the cheapest of tariffs, you can switch your domestic energy supply to a green tariff and reduce your carbon footprint. A green tariff means that your energy suppliers will match the electricity you buy with renewable energy generation – from sources such as wind farms or hydroelectric power stations – or contribute to environmental projects on your behalf. A website such as Big clean switch.org can help you compare green energy suppliers and establish if their green credentials are sound.
Customer service benefits
If you have had a particularly poor customer service experience with your energy provider then you may be looking to find a provider that actually values you as a customer and is responsive to your needs. Some providers also have cashback or other free incentives as a part of a switch offer which can make it more beneficial to you.
Making the energy switch in 2023?
It’s easy to switch energy supplier, with many energy comparison sites available to help you get the best deal.
When looking to switch, you’ll need the following information to hand:
- Your current supplier
- Your current tariff (you’ll find this on your bill)
- Your energy use
- Your current method of paying your bill and how you would like to pay your new supplier
- Your postcode.
A useful source of info is the OFGEM website which provides a guide for switching suppliers as well as some accredited price comparison websites.
What about switching tariff instead?
If you find that it may not be beneficial for you to switch supplier, you might be better served staying put, but looking to switch tariff instead. Weigh up the options to see whether you are better off on a standard variable rate or fixed rate tariff. This will depend on what the long and short-term projections are for energy prices, in part impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
If you choose to switch to being a dual fuel customer (i.e. you buy both gas and electricity from the same supplier) you could benefit from reduced rates. However, tread carefully as being a dual fuel customer is not always a better option than choosing individual electricity and gas suppliers.
Switching energy supplier should be straightforward, but you should only do it when it is in your best interests or the supplier is ‘green’ enough to meet your environmental concerns. Bear in mind that some fixed tariffs do have an exit fee, and while this doesn’t prevent you being able to leave your current provider, there could be cost implications. There will be no exit fees if you are on a standard variable tariff.
Shopping around for your energy supplier doesn’t offer the same potential for savings as it once did, and that is one of the reasons why households are looking for alternative ways of reducing their energy bills in the longer term. Measures like installing solar panels can help households reduce their energy bills and their reliance on the grid, as well as the opportunity to sell any excess electricity produced back to the energy companies under the Smart Export Guarantee.
The choice of switching energy supplier isn’t quite as straightforward as it might have been several years ago when the energy markets were more predictable and more competitive. The escalating cost of energy, exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, and the price caps imposed to help UK households, have muddied the waters somewhat, so energy supplier switching needs to be carefully considered.
Make full use of all the energy comparison websites and tools to ensure that you make the right choice. Staying with your existing supplier can sometimes be advantageous, but more often than not, with a little effort you can find a better option that will save you money or better fit your environmental approach to energy production and consumption.