No one likes to think about energy bills in the summer, but if you take just a few minutes to pre-emptively switch suppliers now you could avoid big winter bills racking up when temperatures drop.
It’s May and summer is pretty much upon us. The weather, if not consistently sunny is a lot warmer and the sun is now setting well into the evenings for gloriously long days. All of this means one welcome thing in terms of your household energy usage - lower bills.
As temperatures rise we turn the heating off, the good weather means we are spending less time indoors guzzling energy and longer evenings mean we don’t need to turn on the lights until 10 at night.
At this time of year, energy bills are generally a low priority (if not the last thing on our minds!) as they rightly should be. It’s a relief to shake off the often stress-inducing worry of energy bills during the summer months, but wouldn’t it be great if you could pre-empt those nasty shock bills that come after summer when the cold weather comes creeping back in?
The good news is you can! Read on for our three-step guide to find out how:
Step one: are you on the best deal?
Many of us aren’t aware that we could be saving a lot of money when it comes to energy by shopping around every year. In fact, a recent survey from the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) found that nearly 60% of energy customers in Ireland are unaware of the many different special offers and discounts that are available to them from competing energy suppliers. Additionally, there are many households out there that have never switched at all. Therefore, if you haven’t considered your energy supplier for a while there’s a good chance that you could make a big saving by switching.
In fact, you could make a saving of €402* right now by switching your gas and electricity from standard rates to the cheapest deals currently on offer.
What are standard rates you ask? Well, they refer to the rate that you fall back on once your discount runs out. Most discount rates last for 12 months (although there are exceptions) so if you haven’t switched energy plans in more than a year you are almost guaranteed to save money by switching now.
You can compare the current plan you are on to other available offers here.
Step two: switch now, save later
You might be thinking; “OK so I’m not on the best deal right now, but so what? As you just pointed out, it’s summer and I’m not using a lot of energy so my bill isn’t a huge concern for me right now”.
That might be the case, but if you think about it, by making the switch now you’ll be saving yourself down the line before you’ve had time to forget about your bills in the interim, letting them rack up as temperatures drop at the end of the summer season.
Step three: Repeat next year
You should try to remember to shop around every year when your contract comes to an end to be sure that you are consistently getting the best deal.
Pretty soon it will be hard to forget to switch because the CER are aware that energy customers tend not to remember to shop around and they want to change this. Thus, as we recently detailed at length in another blog piece, new rules are coming down the pipeline which will require all gas and electricity suppliers to write to customers who haven’t switched in three years or more to remind them that there may be better deals out there and they should consider shopping around.
Switching doesn’t have to be painful
Contrary to what you might expect, switching is actually a very easy process and will probably only take you as long to do as reading this article did. You can compare plans and find the best energy deal for you here.
*This figure is an estimated year one saving for a customer with current national average consumption, switching from standard rates to the cheapest rates on the market at the time of writing.