Switching energy provider could reduce your energy bills by up to £360 per year - but fewer people are

More people are missing out on lower energy bills this month

The number of people switching energy provider fell in March by 3 per cent, compared to March 2019. That’s according to the Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH), which also reported a 20 per cent increase in people switching supplier in January and February 2020 compared to the year before.

The fall in switches correlates with the coronavirus pandemic, but it means that more people in the UK are missing out on savings of up to £360 per year on their energy bills, says industry regulator Ofgem - right at the time that households need these savings the most.

Last week, energy prices were at a three-year low, with MoneySavingExpert's Martin Lewis advising people to switch to a cheap energy deal while you still can. "Lock in energy fixes now,” he told the Express, explaining that oil prices last week were at a 17-year low (yesterday oil prices sunk further, to historic lows, dropping into negative figures). “That means energy prices for switchers - not if you're on a standard tariff - have been at a three year low, it's super cheap."

A quick, two-minute energy comparison will show you just how much you're over-paying on your current tariff, and help you find the best energy deal available in your area. (If you decide to switch, nobody needs to come to your house - your new supplier will use the same pipes so no digging is needed. And you won't lose electricity or gas during the switch, either.)

 Save money by switching energy provider 

Switching supplier regularly is one of the best ways to cut your energy bills, especially if you’re one of the roughly 15m UK households on a standard variable (SVT) or default tariff - and you might be without realising. 

Your energy provider will generally move you onto a SVT once your fixed tariff ends, if you don't ask to be moved onto a new deal. However, these tariffs are usually the most expensive, so if you haven't switched for 12-18 months your energy bills may well be higher than they need to be.     

It pays to shop around at any time of year. But with many UK households currently under great financial strain following the lockdown - and with people using more energy because they're spending more time at home - it makes even more sense to switch provider now, while prices are lower than usual. 

So could you really save up to £360 per year? According to Ofgem, yes. The regulator tracks how much energy companies charge, and found there was a staggering £362 difference between the most expensive and the cheapest energy deals in February 2020. 

Ofgem’s data shows the highest standard variable tariff from one of the Big Six energy suppliers, paid by direct debit, was £1,117 - that’s just £2 shy of the price cap. In comparison, the cheapest tariff basket from the 10 cheapest suppliers was priced at £816. 

 How to switch energy provider

Switching energy provider is easy. The best advice right now is to do it online, because energy call centres are extremely busy handling vulnerable customers. 

All you need to do is open an energy comparison tool like ours, tell us some basic details about your home and energy use, and in less than two minutes you’ll be shown the best energy deals in your area. (Energy prices vary across the UK, which is why we need to know your postcode.) 

Then just choose the deal you like, and we'll handle the entire switch for you. Nobody needs to come to your house - your new supplier will use the same pipes so no digging is needed - and you won't lose electricity or gas during the switch. The whole thing should take around 21 days, but we'll notify you when it's done...

1. Enter your postcode
Pop in your postcode and answer a few quick questions about your energy use. You'll get the most accurate results if you have a recent energy bill to hand.

2. We’ll search for the best deals
We’ll compare gas and electricity prices in your area. We’ll find the cheapest energy deals in your area and show you how much you’ll save by switching

3. Switch supplier and save
Choose the energy deal that suits you, sit back and relax - we’ll handle the switch. We’ll inform your old and new suppliers, and tell you when it's done.

We've partnered with MoneySupermarket to find you the very best energy deals in your area. Our energy comparison tool takes less than five minutes to use and you could save hundreds on your energy bills. Just tell us your post code and how much gas and electricity you use, and we'll show you the best energy deals in your area. Save money on your energy bills now

Julia Sagar
Julia Sagar

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar.