Around this time every year I start to get the panics about Christmas. With only two pay cheques left until the big C-day, I worry that I haven’t budgeted enough for presents and tasty food. It feels like the summer holiday was a minute ago and I’m still playing catch-up with the finances. And so, predictably, October is always the month of a budget overhaul in our house, as we check we’re making the best spending decisions and seek out better deals.
One thing we regularly look at each year is our energy supplier. In the past we’ve switched providers a couple of times when we’ve realised we’re paying way over the odds for our gas and electricity, and this has made a huge impact on our monthly income. Switching energy suppliers is like some kind of life milestone. I remember the first time we did it and feeling like we’d reached proper “adult” status. It felt terribly responsible and grown-up.
If switching supplier is a daunting prospect for you then it’s worth checking out the new Be an Energy Shopper – website from Ofgem, the energy regulator. There are three categories to the site to help you get your head around the options; a section explaining your bill, a section looking at energy deals and tariffs, and a section dedicated to switching suppliers.
We went onto the energy tariffs page to check we’re on the best tariff to suit our family and house. There’s a wealth of information in this section explaining different types of tariffs, as well as the potential benefits of various types of payment options (eg. pre-payment or direct debit). It’s all broken down into easily manageable chunks, so when you’re trying to process all this information at 9pm after a long day (as we were), it’s not too taxing.
Another part of the BAES site which we found really useful was the energy saving advice on the tariffs section. Although we don’t use a tumble dryer and I like to think of myself as pretty energy savvy when turning off “vampire appliances”, there are other ways we can save money which I’d never thought of before. Did you know, for example, that turning down your thermostat by one degree could save you £75 over the course of a year? No, me neither.
We’re still yet to decide if we’re going to stick with the same supplier or switch to a new one, but it’s always something worth considering as it could make a big difference to your household bills. There’s a really useful list of Ofgem approved comparison sites now available, which means the whole process of seeking out the best deal is painless and simple – even if you’re stuck for time which I always seem to be.
Have you got any other good energy saving tips to share? Leave them in the comments below as I’m always partial to a bit of energy saving advice!
Thanks to BAES for working with me on this post. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.