If you happen to be renting or a home owner, one outgoing (hopefully you’ve got your SSBS together) you’re not going to get out of paying for are utilities (gas/electric/water). I must admit, this isn’t the most exciting topic but this is definitely worth your time, as its going to save you from parting with more of your hard earned cash than you need to. This will only apply if you’re on a standard meter for your gas and electric, so not a prepaid meter or an economy 7 meter.
You’ll have an energy supplier (i.e British Gas, EDF, Ovo, Scottish Power) who provide the gas and electric to the house/flat. You will have a gas and electric meter, this allows the utility company to calculate how much energy you’ve used and how much you owe them. If you don’t already, I highly recommend you submit meter reading(s) each month to make sure the bills are not wildly inaccurate.
So what do you need to look out for when wanting to get the best deal possible? Here are costs to look out for:
- Electricity – Standing Charge (this is a fixed cost per day)
- Electricity – Unit Rate (this is the price per kWh used)
- Gas – Standing Charge (this is a fixed cost per day)
- Gas – Unit Rate (this the price per kWh used)
These are likely to be a little hard to find (the supplier doesn’t really want you knowing this) and if you’re finding it too difficult to find these for a given supplier, ditch the supplier and choose one who is open about the amount they charge.
Here’s the tariff example from Bulb, the current supplier of energy to the HTSC household.
As we can see, Bulb clearly show you their tariff information. Lets take another example from a different supplier and work out the difference.
Supplier: Scottish Power
Tariff Name: Online Fix and Save January 2019 v2
Tariff breakdown can be found here (they don’t make is easy for you). These are for the monthly direct debit payments for the ScottishPower supply area.
|Standing Charge||Per kWh|
Now we’ve got our prices lets look at a month’s worth of energy usage. Lets take the month of December as it’s probably one of the most expensive.
First off, the number of days in December = 31, next is the energy used for the month of December.
Now for the incredibly complicated maths (just kidding). We multiple the standing charge for each supplier by 31 and the unit prices are multiplied by the number of kWhs used.
So for the electricity from Bulb we have the following calculations:
31 * 0.2456 = 7.61
248 * 0.12257 = 30.40
|Standing Charge||kWh Used|
Hopefully you’ve homed in on the totals and can see that in this comparison, Bulb comes out cheaper by a whopping £34.68! Now just think, it’s the same gas and electricity that is coming through your wires and gas pipes regardless of supplier so why pay more than you have to?
As I’ve mentioned Bulb are the supplier of energy to the HTSC household and do a fantastic job of providing green energy to other homes across the UK. They provide 100% renewable electricity, which gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when switching on a light. You’ll get £50 credit if you sign up and switch to Bulb from here, who can say no to free energy?!
If this all seems too much, no problem, there are services like uSwitch – Gas & Electricity who allow you to search for the cheapest deal with minimal information, just your home address, the type of meter(s) you have and how much you spend/use energy wise each month. If you see a deal you like on there, they also provide a service where they take care of informing your current supplier that you want to move to a new supplier, which means you have to do even less!!!
See, I told you it would be worth your time. Just think, if you can save £34.68 in one month, what could you save over a year?