With energy prices on the rise it's more important than ever to make sure you're getting the best deal. However, many people choose to simply renew their contract with their current electricity provider rather than taking the time to find out if there are better deals to be had.
But if you know how, you can compare electricity prices quickly and easily and ensure that you're not losing out. Read our guide to comparing electricity prices and learn everything you need to know to get great electricity deals and save money.
How to use energy comparison sites
A good electricity comparison site will make it easy for users to find what they need. To find the best quotes, you'll need to enter all the information you're asked for as accurately as possible.
When you narrow down your search as much as possible the quotes returned will be suited to your particular needs.
Compare prices regularly
Electricity companies are constantly changing their tariffs which means the deal you had a year ago may have gone up in price or that their may be cheaper deals that weren't available when you signed up with your electricity company.
To get the most out of your electricity bill check comparison sites once every six to nine months to make sure you are aware of any changes to tariffs or special offers.
In some cases energy companies will introduce cheaper tariffs for new customers but they won’t pass on the savings to existing clients. Checking comparison sites will allow you to monitor changes taking place with your current provider.
Cheaper is not necessarily better
When you view a list of quotes in price order it can be tempting to choose the cheapest option, but when using comparison sites it's vitally important to find out exactly what is included in any quote as you may find that a cheaper tariff doesn't provide you with everything you need.
Bear in mind that although comparison sites are regulated some are sponsored by individual companies so may not present wholly unbiased information.
Choosing the best electricity deal
When choosing a supplier take into account how you want to pay and get your bills. Many suppliers offer discounts for buying online and will offer further money off if you manage your account online too. Make sure you take full advantage of any offers like this when finding a supplier.
You can also save money by choosing a fixed energy tariff which works in much the same way as a fixed mortgage rate. This means the cost of your electricity bills will be fixed at a certain amount until a specified date.
Although customers who choose this option will pay a premium it's possible to make significant savings if energy prices rise.
However, it's not advisable to choose a fixed tariff if energy prices are dropping as you could end up paying more than the average.
Keeping your tariff low
Once you've chosen your energy supplier there are things you can do to ensure you don't get into debt and maintain manageable energy bills. It can be easy to find yourself running up a debt. Often when customers pay by direct debit their monthly bill may rise but their direct debit amount will stay the same so you end up owing the energy company money.
Check your direct debit regularly and make sure it is in line with the price of the energy you are using. If you find you are paying too much or too little then contact your energy supplier and explain that you want to change your debit amount.
You can also run into trouble if you don't read your meter regularly as the energy company will calculate an estimated reading which may be less than your annual consumption, so you will end up having to make up the difference.
Most energy companies now allow you to input the information from your meter reading online so you get the most accurate bill possible and you won't end up over or under paying.
The most effective way to keep your bills manageable is to monitor the amount of energy you use. It's now possible to buy energy monitors which will show you how much you are spending each time you use power.
When you can see how much using your hairdryer, leaving lights on unnecessarily or running the washing machine is costing you, you're much more likely to think about whether you really need to use that energy.Back to top