In these cash strapped times it's more important than ever to save money where you can. Despite this fact thousands of people in the UK are paying over the odds for their gas supply, simply because they haven't taken the time to look for a better deal.
This guide will tell you exactly what you need to do to save money on your gas bills so read on to find out how to compare prices and get the best deal on gas.
Before you start your search
There are a few things you need to know before you start your search to make sure any information you need to give is as accurate as possible.
Firstly make sure you have the details of your current supplier to hand, along with your postcode. Secondly find out exactly how much you are paying for your gas each year and consider the payment method you use.
To find out how much you are paying for gas every year you can either check your online or paper bills and calculate what your annual spend is, or you can contact your supplier directly and ask them to review your bills. Once you have gathered all this information you are ready to start your search.
Using comparison sites
Comparison sites are fast becoming the most popular way to search for services online and they can be very handy if used correctly.
When you visit a comparison site you'll be asked for information that's relevant to your search such as your current supplier, where you live and how much gas you use every year. Provided your answers are as accurate as possible the site should come up with a comprehensive list of quotes from alternative suppliers.
Once you have your list of quotes, don’t be tempted to automatically go for the cheapest option. Before you make a decision you need to find out exactly what is included in the tariff being offered and make sure that it meets your needs.
It's advisable to use a comparison site that covers the whole UK market
As well as using the internet to find the best deals, you can also save money if you choose to pay for your supply online. Many companies also offer a discount if you manage your account on the web too.
Managing your account online is often quicker and easier than receiving paper bills and much cheaper for companies to process, meaning they can pass that saving on to you.
Most people choose to pay their gas bill by direct debit but as gas prices rise and fall regularly you may end up owing your supplier more than the amount of the direct debit you have set up.
Monitor your gas usage to make sure you're not over or under paying for your gas if you plan to pay by direct debit.
Many providers offer fixed tariffs for gas supply so you pay a fixed amount for a year. This means that if gas prices rise you won't pay more, but if prices drop whilst you're on a fixed tariff you can end up paying over the odds.
If you sign up for a fixed tariff and you decide to switch to another supplier your current company is likely to charge you to get out of your contract.
Regular check ups
If you want to make the most of comparison sites then check them every 6 to 9 months. Energy tariffs are constantly changing and the only way to take full advantage is to make sure you're not missing out.
You can change gas providers as many times as you want to, although some companies will charge a penalty if you do this once you have signed a contract.
In general it can take from between four and six weeks for any changes to come into effect, so make sure you don't end your contract with your current provider before your new one has started.
One of the most effective ways to save money on your gas bill is by saving energy in your home. The more energy efficient your home is the less gas you will need to use. So make sure that your home is well insulated to keep the heat in. You can apply for a grant to improve your home's insulation so check online to see if you qualify.
You can also monitor the amount of gas you use with an energy meter which will show you how much you're spending on gas. Getting an energy monitor will really help you think twice about the amount of gas you use and you're much more likely to think twice about whether you need to use your current levels of energy.Back to top