Time to switch energy provider

04 September 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
Following the latest announcements of energy price increases, consumers should still make informed decisions and shop around for better deals, says price comparison website Confused.com.

After Scottish and Southern, British Gas, EON and EDF hiked their prices in August, npower and Scottish Power have followed suit and were the most recent companies to increase their prices, which will affect around 11.8 million British customers.

Gareth Kloet, product director at Confused.com, said consumers could make savings of an overall £6.8 billion if they compare gas and electricity prices and, if necessary, switch provider:

"Despite the fact that all of the ‘Big Six' providers have now raised their prices, supplier prices are still in a state of continuous flux." he said. "In fact, it has never been more important to make informed decisions when it comes to changing energy tariffs, based on personal circumstances."

In response to the recent run on capped tariffs Mr Kloet commented: "While capped tariffs will offer insurance against future rises, it is important to note that customers will pay for this fixed-price assurance. This makes the cost 20 per cent higher, on average, than that of uncapped deals."

Consumers on uncapped deals will therefore make the most significant savings. However, on the downside, there is no guarantee that the prices will look as competitive and attractive in the future compared to capped price deals.

Whether households go for a capped or uncapped deal, Mr Kloet reminded consumers that there are other ways to reduce fuel bills: "It is important to also consider online deals and paying by direct debit, as companies often offer discounts to customers who elect to use these methods."

He concluded: "There is scope for saving money if you act fast and change supplier or tariff as soon as possible; however, it may be best to stick to one of the ‘Big Six' suppliers, as volatile price fluctuations have forced smaller suppliers out of the market in the past."

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