In spite of the fact that it is constantly getting more expensive to run even the smallest of homes, a lot of consumers in the United Kingdom are still paying more than they have to for their electricity, gas and water supplies. If you are among them, then perhaps it is time to compare utility prices online and see if you can save anything by switching to a new tariff, or even a new provider entirely. Financial comparison websites, allowing you to compare everything from home insurance to energy tariffs, have popped up all over the Internet in recent years, and best of all, they cost absolutely nothing to use. If you want to start saving, compare utility prices now and switch online.

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Recent Bills

In order to get an accurate overview of the amount you can save every year by changing your tariff and/or supplier, you should first find a recent energy bill or statement. This should provide useful information including, most importantly, the current price per unit of energy that you are paying, and the estimated consumption and costs over the next billing period. When you provide this information to the energy comparison website, they will be able to tell you how much you can save by switching to any of the available alternatives in your area. You will also need to give the website with some contact details, and most importantly, your postcode, so that they can provide you with information about tariffs available in your area.

There is a whole range of sites to choose from to compare utility prices and other things. Among the most popular are which.co.uk, confused.com, comparethemarket.com, uswitch.com and moneysupermarket.com, though there are many more. Most of these services also allow you to complete the switch through them, and they should not charge you anything for this, since the energy companies themselves pay their commissions for finding new customers. For the consumer, it is generally a quick and straightforward process to switch through such a service, and in many cases, there are some additional incentives such as exclusive discounts or cashback schemes.

Understanding Different Energy Tariff Types

Even if you choose not to switch to a new provider, you may still be able to save money by changing to a different tariff. There are many tariffs available to suit either home or business users. Depending on your particular requirements, you may find it more economical to go for a completely different tariff type. Standard tariffs, while they tend to suit the majority of consumers, are not always ideal, and you may find yourself better off going for an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff, for example.

Economy 7 tariffs allow you to take advantage of lower off-peak rates, which can be ideal for some consumers. However, the price per unit of gas or electricity consumed during peak hours may be significantly higher than prices on a standard tariff. Economy 10 tariffs work in the same way, but provide you with ten hours per day during which you only pay off-peak rates.

If you want to protect yourself from future price hikes, then you may want to consider fixed-rate or capped-rate tariffs. The former guarantees that your energy prices will not increase for a period of time, usually up to two years. A capped-rate tariff can increase, but not beyond a certain point. The disadvantage of both of these tariffs, however, is that initial prices may start off higher than the rates for standard tariffs. For this reason, going for such a tariff may seem like a bit of a gamble, although energy prices are very likely to continue to increase regardless.

Whichever type of tariff you get, you will almost always be better off going for a special online tariff, in which you entirely manage your account online while paying automatically every month via direct debit. With online accounts, you typically won’t receive any correspondence by post, as everything will be dealt with through your online account and email. This saves money for both energy companies and consumers, and it is better for the environment too. You will be able to compare utility prices and all types of energy tariffs online.

Laura Ginn knows that the best way to find the lowest price gas and electricity is to compare prices online. Laura advises people to discover how they can compare prices and save on energy bills by visiting uSwitch.com today.