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Basic Steps in Energy Comparison and its Benefits

Comparing is quick and easy. You can use energy comparisons sites or speak to energy suppliers directly to see what deals are out there.

To accurately compare energy tariffs look at your latest Energy Bill or Annual Summary so you can make a note of the following:

  1. The name of your energy tariff(s) and the unit rates
  2. Your energy consumption figures costs
  3. Any exit fees or additional charges

The above information should be all that’s required for an energy comparison site to give you a good indication of other deals.

However, before you switch it’s a good idea to use one of the three additional energy comparison tools, outlined below, to compare the new tariff with your old one.

  1. The Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR)

This Tariff Comparison Rate is a quick way of comparing energy tariffs from different gas and electricity suppliers – but it isn’t personalized to you.

You’ll find Tariff Comparison Rates in energy suppliers’ communications, on their websites and on sites that have ENERGY COMPARE prices. Suppliers use them as a way to advertise their gas and electricity tariffs (and how competitive they are) in much the same way mortgage and credit card providers do with APRs.

The main thing to bear in mind about Tariff Comparison Rates is that they are a quick way to compare each supplier’s energy tariff and prices. There will be a TCR for each type of energy tariff – shown in pence per kWh (p/kWh), based on medium usage.

Tariff Comparison Rates can provide a useful starting point when comparing gas and electricity prices, but it’s still important to find out what’s right for you based on more personalized information. For that, you’ll want to have to hand your personal projection or personal energy consumption.

  1. The Tariff Information Label

The Tariff Information Label is a standard way of presenting key facts you need to know about a specific energy tariff.

  1. Current tariff information
  2. Payments and charges
  3. Tariff terms
  4. Discounts and extra services
  5. Consumption and charges
  6. Tariff Comparison Rate
  7. Personal projection

Just like it says, this is personal to you and estimates your annual energy cost for the next 12 months.

The personal projection is useful when shopping around. That’s because it estimates how much you’re likely to pay for energy over the next 12 months, making it easier to compare energy tariffs.

Your personal projection will be shown as an annual cost in pounds (£), and will be displayed on your energy bill in the ‘Could you pay less?’ box. It will also appear on your annual energy summary and on any price increase notices. Plus, you can request a personal projection from your energy supplier at any time.

Before you sign up to a new gas or electricity tariff, the supplier must give you a personal projection – and they will have to tell you what’s included in the calculation. This will allow you to accurately compare energy tariffs.

     3.Start comparing energy tariffs

Price comparison sites are a good way to accurately compare energy prices, from different suppliers.

Energy prices mean the bill dropping through the letter box can bring on a chill on its own. But there’s good news too – if you know how to compare energy prices and suppliers you can get a far better deals.

For most comparison sites, you’ll need your postcode, your current supplier and ideally your current tariff and annual energy consumption. All that information should be on your bill or annual statement, but if it isn’t then you can still compare prices.

Most energy comparison tools give you an estimate your annual energy use based on your family size, house type and number of rooms. But you’ll have a clearer idea of how much you can save if you have a bill handy.

Suppliers really have made switching simple. Head to a comparison site, enter your information, choose a tariff (be a bit careful here, some comparison sites don’t show all available tariffs so it’s worth checking more than one), complete an application form and then you’re given a date to switch. On that date you give your new provider up-to-date meter reading.

The whole process should take no more than a few weeks and there won’t be any interruption to your service or rewiring needed.

If your old provider owes you money because your account is in credit then they should then refund you – but keep a close eye on your account to make sure they do.

Bear in mind that if you’ve fixed your energy prices then you might need to pay a fee to get out of the contract early. Remember to factor that cost into your sums to check the new supplier is still cheaper.

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