As you get older and your income decreases, saving money on your gas and electricity bill becomes more important. Do you dread receiving your energy bill in the mail and seeing how much it costs you this month to keep your heat on and your television running? You’ve probably been sticking with the same energy supplier for years. But, by simply switching your provider, you can save tons of money on your energy bills and get better service. Are you ready to switch your energy supplier? Here’s what you should know before you decide to change your gas and electric supplier.
What’s the Difference Between Gas and Electricity?
Home appliances run on either gas or electricity and although there’s usually little difference between the two, they can differ when it comes to the cost of your monthly bills. Most natural gas comes from dedicated lines that are connected to a larger gas pipeline, but some homes can’t be easily connected to natural gas because of geological features or their distance from the pipelines. These homes may be able to use gas through propane gas or periodic deliveries. On the other hand, electricity is delivered to homes through high-voltage lines, substations, and transformers that extend from nearby power plants. Homes with sources of renewable energy can generate their own electricity.
Although gas is usually cheaper and it’s better for the environment, there are some limitations associated with it. Gas can power the furnace, water heater, oven, and clothes dryer, but it can’t power lights, electronics, air conditioners, or other appliances. It’s important to note that the rates for gas and electricity are constantly changing and they vary based on your location.
How Can You Switch Suppliers?
Switching energy providers is easier than you may think and you won’t lose your energy supply in the process. You can decide if you want to switch both gas or electric or just one of them. Before you switch, it’s important to see if you’ll save money by doing so. Make sure you get an accurate quote from the suppliers by providing them with an old bill with your current energy use and the tariff you’re on. If you’re on a fixed term plan, you should also know the end date on your current contract because if you plan on switching partway through your agreement, you may have to pay an exit fee. If the exit charge is higher than your savings, you may want to wait until your receive notice that your supplier contract is coming to an end, which usually arrives about a month and a half before the last day of your contract.
When’s the Best Time to Switch?
If you’re not on a fixed rate tariff, you should switch before winter arrives as most people use less electricity over the summer, which makes it harder to see the real costs of your energy. By comparing prices in the summer, when you use less electricity, you’ll get a cheaper tariff before the winter arrives and your energy consumption increases. If you suspect that energy prices are about to rise, you should take out a fixed rate tariff that guarantees your rate won’t change between one to five years, depending on the deal. Also, if you’re moving homes, it’s the perfect time to look at your energy needs as there may be a change in the number of rooms, the heating systems, and the appliances.
How Long Does it Take?
It should take 21 days or less to switch suppliers. On the day you switch, there shouldn’t be any disruption to your gas and electricity as they will be coming through the same pipes and wires, no matter who provides it. The only things you should notice are lower bills and a different supplier name.