Once you’ve moved into your new home, you might find that you want to change the energy providers that the property came with, if you think you can find a better deal.
The first thing to do should be to compare different utility providers on a comparison website. You can also compare with the existing suppliers to your property using The Energy Shop's handy energy comparison tool. But finding a new utility provider is about more than just comparing costs, there are a number of things to consider when comparing different tariffs.
First, the obvious thing to consider is the price of the utility tariff. You should set yourself a budget of what you can afford to be paying out each month. This can help you rule out any tariffs that are too expensive.
A good tip is to look at the long term price of a tariff, as some may change price after a certain amount of months. The first 6 months may be within your price range but then it may revert to a more expensive price after this time. If you have to stay tied in for 3 years, is it actually a worse deal than a tariff that is slightly more expensive but consistent in price.
Utility providers will often provide different types of tariff to suit different needs, so it’s good to look up what is available from different providers as you compare them.
The standard tariffs are:
Fixed - in which the utility will cost the same amount over a certain period of time (so your bill will be based on what you use).
Variable - in which the amount can go up or down depending on utility prices.
Fixed tariffs can be better if you need to stick to a budget, but variable can be easier to get out of if you want to switch to a better deal later.
But there are also many other kinds of tariffs available, such as:
Prepayment – in which you pay for your utility before you use it.
Economy – in which the utility is cheaper overnight. (This is ideal for people who work nights, as this is when you’ll be using a lot of your utilities).
Green – in which energy you use will only come from eco-friendly sources like wind and solar power.
When you move house, it’s not just utilities you will have to set up. Some energy providers will offer bundles with their tariffs, that allow you to also pay for other services such as broadband, mobile and insurance in the same monthly bill as your utilities.
This can be very useful for convenience, but remember to do the maths and work out how much it would save you compared to paying separately. And you should also compare different bundles available to see what works best for you.
Many utility providers will also offer additional perks as an incentive for using them. One common example is Referral codes, whereby if you recommend the company to a friend or family member you can both get cashback on your monthly bill.
Extras can be a nice addition to a bill but remember to make sure the price and tariff first before comparing what extras are available that suit your lifestyle. They may end up being the deciding factor between two providers you have your eye on.
To many people, living as eco-friendly as possible is important, which is especially pressing when it comes to utilities and energy. Most providers will claim to be eco-friendly to some extent, but if living green is important to you its worth looking into how renewable their energy is.
There are a few companies who rely on 100% renewable energy sources, and more that focus on ‘zero carbon’ emissions. Some companies will work with and invest in environmental charities and renewable energy schemes.
We live in an increasingly digital age, which means most utility suppliers are becoming more digitally focussed. Many providers will now install smart meters in customers home which a digital display for readings. Some providers will also have an app which will allow you to track your energy use and tariff, or a way to do this online.
There are a lot of other smart appliances offered by various providers, from smart thermostats to smart bulbs to smart radiators. If this interests you, try looking up what kind of smart technology the providers in your budget offer with their tariffs, to see what suits your needs.
Comparing all your options for new utility providers is essential when making your new house a home. Getting all this information before making a switch can go a long way when deciding which one is right for your home and your specific needs.