As gas prices are sharply increasing many are seeking new ways to reduce the rising costs they are faced with. To ensure maximum savings it is important to fully understand the options available to you whether it be comparing the best supply plans or actively trying to minimise costs yourself within your household.
Reducing the Cost of Your Gas Bill:
There are many things you can do yourself to try and reduce the cost of your gas supply from getting into good habits to properly preparing your household.
- Replace/Repair your boiler – An inefficient boiler can highly contribute to your energy bills, whereas an efficient boiler produces more heat from each gas unit and is expected to save you an estimated £300. Governments are providing a grant scheme to assist households in replacing their old boilers, preventing you from forking out on further costs.
- Cavity Wall Insulation – Filling the gaps between your internal and external walls with insulation can help your home to retain heat, saving you on average around £90 a year. Again, a government scheme is in place to aid cavity insulation.
- Loft Insulation - Properly insulating your loft is crucial to your energy costs as the majority of heat in your home is lost through the roof. Insulation under the rafters in your loft is estimated to help save £180 per year.
- Poor maintenance - This can majorly reduce the efficiency of your energy supply. Regularly checking your radiators for air locks and draining your heating system every 5 years can help to maintain its efficiency and keep costs reduced.
- Control your gas usage - Using a thermostat for your hot water and a timer for your heating enables you to make sure you are not unnecessarily using your gas, preventing over use and keeping costs down.
Switching Gas Supplier
In attempt to reduce costs, some may wish to change their gas supplier entirely. Comparing the different tariffs and costs of providers can help you to find the cheapest and best suited energy plan for you. Although reducing costs may be your main motivation, when researching a new price plan it is important to still take other factors into consideration.
- VARIABLE TARIFF – With a variable tariff the cost of your gas bill is subject to change dependent on energy prices. Prices within the energy market can go up or down and as a result affect your tariff with either increased or reduced costs. In the last year, top energy competitors were seen to apply a 6-11% price increase, although currently we are not in a period of price rises.
- FIXED TARIFF – With a fixed tariff you are ensured a price promise for a certain period. Unit prices for gas are locked in protecting you from any cost increases during that set time, however it can also mean you miss out on any cost cuts if they were to occur. When choosing a fixed tariff it is important to carefully check the tariff contract as there may be a cancellation fee if you chose to leave before your given end date.
- Payment Method
It can benefit you to avoid traditional quarterly payments on your gas supply and opt for a monthly direct debit payment plan. If your chosen plan allows monthly payments this can be the most cost effective way to pay as through choosing this option most energy providers will often offer you an annual reduction on your gas bill.
- Online Services
Some gas providers will use only online services, this way all your billing statements will be provided online instead of in paper form. Using this service requires you to manually input your meter readings online in order to calculate your bills more accurately.
Top UK Competitors
The leading UK energy and gas supply competitors, also known as ‘the Big Six’ include:
SCOTTISH & SOUTHERN ELECTRIC (SSE)
Comparison of Competitors
TOP TARIFF PRICES (According to Money.co.uk)
* Typical bills for an average usage of 16,500 kWh and 3,000 kWh of electricity per annum.
|Energy Plan||Tariff||Price Promise||Annual Average Cost||Average Annual Savings|
|N POWER||Online Price Fix (Dec 2014)||Fixed||Until 31/12/14||£723||£119|
|N POWER||Go Save||Variable||N/A||£746||£106|
|N POWER||Fix Dec. 2015||Fixed||N/A||£775||£67|
|British Gas||Clear and Simple||Variable||N/A||£802||£40|
|British Gas||Price Promise April. 2015||Fixed||Until 30/04/15||£877||£0|
To get an accurate comparison for your gas supply you may need to know the information for these required fields:
- Your current gas supplier
- Your current tariff
- Your current payment method
- How much you currently spend
- Your kWh usage per year
- Your postcode
Useful comparison sites include; Energy Helpline; Confused.com; Compare The Market; Go Compare; U Switch; Money Saving Expert.