Gas and Electric Compare might just be the Best Solution
Energy vampires are electronic devices or appliances that slowly draw power from electrical outlets, even when turned off or idle. These “phantom” devices aren’t roaming your house looking for a tasty treat, but are rather part of the large and growing number of electrical products that cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products —including TVs, laptops, microwave ovens and cable boxes— draw power 24 hours a day, often without the knowledge of the consumer. So what can you do to get rid of this problem?
Can I switch energy companies?
Yes – and if you never have before, you might be surprised by how much money you’ll save. The gas and electricity markets are privatized, which means you buy your power from companies – not from the state, as in previous years.
Like many companies that sell financial products, energy firms have historically reserved their very cheapest deals for new customers – leaving those who’ve been loyal to the same company for years paying far more. You’ve nothing to lose by gas and electric comparison and checking how much you’d save if you switched to an alternative energy provider.
How easy is switching energy suppliers?
Switching your energy supplier is very easy, and one of the most efficient ways to do so is online. Energy switching service will help you to organize changing your electricity and/or gas provider in just four steps.
To find out which energy supplier is offering the best deal for you, you’ll need to provide details such as your postcode and your annual spend on energy. This information allows us to make the calculations that will show which electricity and gas providers are the cheapest for your household – so if you can, it’s a good idea to find your latest energy bill or annual energy statement before getting started.
Once you’ve reviewed the results of your comparison you can choose whether to switch your energy supplier. You may also want to run two comparisons to see whether it’s best to opt for separate gas and electricity providers or take a dual fuel tariff from just one.
If you decide to switch, simply select the provider of your choice. Your new supplier will organize the switch on your behalf. There will be no break in your energy supply when this happens, so there’s no need to worry that you’ll lose power even temporarily.
How long does it take to change energy providers?
The process of changing who provides your energy should take between two and six weeks. To ensure your switch goes smoothly, you’ll need to provide your new energy provider with meter readings when these are requested. You will also need to settle any outstanding bills from your old supplier.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Yes – before you start the process of switching your energy provider, double check the terms of the tariff you are on with your current supplier. If you’re on a fixed energy tariff, for example, you may have to pay a penalty for exiting your contract early. As this could offset the money you save by changing providers, it’s worth factoring it into the overall equation.
Under rules, all energy suppliers should now allow customers to terminate any contract with them up to 49 days ahead of a tariff’s end date, penalty-free. This, among other regulatory changes, should help make switching easier for customers currently on fixed energy deals.
Ways to get more Savings
Unplug devices you don’t use often.
While you may not be able to unplug all of your standby devices (alarm clock, cable box, etc.), complete a walk-through of your home to see what you haven’t used for some time and unplug it. Even daily-use items like your cell phone charger don’t need to be plugged into the outlet all day if it’s not being used. The greatest savings will come from old electronic equipment like an extra TV, desktop computer or stereo that you only use from time to time.
Use an advanced power strip.
Advanced Power Strips (APS) look just like ordinary power strips, except that they have built-in features that are designed to reduce the amount of energy used by many consumer electronics. Power strips allow you to toggle the power flow on and off. This will allow you to control the power usage of clusters of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not around. Using a light switch that turns power outlets on and off accomplishes the same end.
Limit idle time in devices such as computers and video game consoles.
Adjusting the internal device power management settings on your computer to enable sleep mode or saving a game and powering down instead of leaving it paused for a prolonged period of time can save a lot of energy and money. Other options are to use timers.
Make smart upgrades.
When it comes time to send your old devices to the graveyard, you should also consider replacing them with energy-saver products. They have a lower standby consumption than your average device and generally use less energy in all their functions – savings you should take into account when comparing similar products.