Energy Bills: making sense of tariffs

Many people are in debt to their energy provider and in some cases this has happened because the consumer has been paying more than they need to.

Consumer group Which? has found the new proposals from the energy regulator Ofgem will leave 3.4 million households paying more than they should because the range of tariffs on offer are not clear.

Ofgem has introduced its new Tariff Comparison Rate, but this will only tell customers the representative price for a medium user of both gas and electricity.

According to Which?, only a quarter of UK households actually use this level of energy, which leaves the majority of people making price comparisons based on the wrong numbers.

Many people are in debt to their energy provider and in some cases this has happened because the consumer has been paying more than they need to.

It is important for those currently struggling with their finances to assess their energy bills as there could be some large savings on offer.

Which energy tariff is right for me?

The best way to find the right tariff for you is to use your actual readings instead of estimated price comparisons. How many units do you use in a month? Does this vary?

Find the average usage for your household and get quotes based on this from a number of providers. Make sure you know the facts – is it a fixed or variable rate? Is there an early exit fee? Direct Debit discount?

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Do your research – if you think you are paying too much for your energy – you probably are.

Compare the comparison sites, find out what is most suitable for your lifestyle, speak to advisors, regularly read your meter and be savvy about your usage.

British Gas are the first provider to include information about how much you could save by switching to another tariff on their bills and it is likely that others will follow suit – so if you haven’t got the internet to check tariffs you can still find out how much you could be saving.

Finally, ask around your friends and family about how satisfied they are with their provider.  Review sites for energy providers are one-sided at best. All have an average of around 1-2 out of 10, which just goes to show how dissatisfied we all are with our providers.

Share your experiences and help others choose the right provider for them.

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  1. Great article, my bills are £233 a month, nearly £100 more than last year. I have been on but it didnt show me anything better than N Power (my existing supplier), I will definitely check out the Ofgem site you mention.

    1. I’m also with N Power and think my bills have been too high – probably something do with their 9.1% increase on electricity last year. I have found cheaper quotes but because I live in a flat it’s difficult to gain access to read my meter so every quote is based on estimated usages rates… I can never be 100% what I will actually be charged each month.

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