Many consumers these days are looking to save on the energy bills. With rising inflation, the cost of energy procurement is also increasing. That is why they often look for switching over to an affordable energy supplier. The only problem is that it is not as easy as it seems. You need to take care of quite a few things before switching your energy supplier. There might be hidden charges or penalties which you might encounter.
The problem is that if you commit a few errors in the process, it might cost you more rather than less. You have to be aware of these mistakes which you need to avoid before taking a call. We will today highlight eight such errors which you should avoid when switching your energy supplier.
- Not settling past dues:
One thing which many of the consumers ignore is the past dues. Even if you have a dispute, you need to clear it before switching the energy suppliers. Only when that is the case, it is easier for you to change the energy suppliers. Otherwise, your application to change the energy supplier might not go through.
Even age-old disputes need to be settled before switching over the supplier. Many consumers do not check their billing history due to which such disputes often go unnoticed. It is only when they attempt to change the energy supplier, they come to know about such hindrances. It is essential always to ensure that you clear your dues with the energy company before shopping around for another one.
- Not understanding the tariff structure:
Before you shortlist an energy supplier, it is essential to know more about their plans. Only when you know more about their plans, it is easier for you to decide whether you can save money or not. We will highlight three different plans which most of the energy suppliers have on offer.
- Fixed rate plans:
The fixed rate plan as the name suggests ensures that you will pay a fixed price per unit for energy consumption. During the tenure of the contract, this price will not go up. If you’re worried about fluctuating electricity prices, the fixed rate plans are the perfect option for you. They allow you to pay a fixed amount every month. You need to however keep in mind that most of the companies offer the tenure of only one year on the fixed rate plan. On renewal, the price might increase.
- Variable rate plan:
Variable rate plan can cost you more as the cost of electricity can vary from month to month. However, if you expect the electricity cost to go down soon, the variable month plan will allow you to gain the advantage of lower prices. If you are wrong, however, you can end up paying more,
- Green energy plans:
Many people prefer renewable energy. Owing to this very reason, an increasing number of suppliers these days are offering green energy plans. Green energy plans only offer renewable electricity. Most of these plans provide a similar tariff. By choosing such plans, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your home. You can protect the environment with this single step. That is why, if you’re worried about the carbon footprint of your home, these clean energy plans are the perfect option for you.
Once you know more about these plans, it is time to pick the right one. The only bit of problem is that in most of the countries, multiple energy suppliers are offering numerous plans. It is a tedious task to compare the different plans and to go through the terms and conditions of each plan. An easier solution is to decide the type of plan which you are looking for like the green plan and use an online service to find the most affordable option. There are many online services which help you to switch to a green energy deal online. It will allow you to make the switch easily without having to spend days figuring out the various plans and the hidden charges. Moreover, you would not have to deal with any unpleasant costs in the process.
Thus, once you understand the tariff structure, it will be easier for you to switch to the right plan. Not comparing the tariff structure with other suppliers is the biggest mistake which a consumer can make.
- Ignoring the Exit fee:
Many people think that they can switch the suppliers whenever they want. The problem is that if you’re on a fixed plan and have used the suppliers’ services for less than one year, there might be exit fee involved. The problem with the exit fee is that it can vanish all the savings which you can procure by switching over the supplier. That is why you have to carefully read the existing contract of your energy supplier before switching over.
If there is an exit fee, you have to take into account the quantum of that fee. You need to also find out till when that fee is applicable. It is a good idea to wait it out. When you wait that period out, you don’t need to pay the exit fee on switching the energy supplier. Ignoring the exit fee can be detrimental to the savings which you plan to gain by changing the energy supplier. That is why you have to read the contract carefully to understand the charges which you will incur on switching the energy supplier.
Similarly, you have to read the contract of the new supplier to find out whether they will be leaving the same charges or not. It is a good idea to choose a plan which does not levy any exit fee. It will help you switch suppliers more efficiently and save money in the longer term.
- Not shopping around:
These days shopping around for quotes does not mean visiting the offices of the energy suppliers in your area. There are much easier ways to know more about the plans available. You can easily use the online resources to understand more about the energy suppliers and the various plans which they have on offer.
In many cases, when you’re switching over to a new supplier, you can get a better deal for the first few months. As a result, the amount of money which you can save is on the higher side. At the same point in time, you can easily contact most of the energy suppliers online. They will let you know about the various plans through email or their live chat support. It is not a time-consuming process at all. That is why, when you’re thinking about switching over the energy supplier, it is essential to shop around for the best rates.
You have to take into account the instant discounts and also the longer term tariffs which you will pay on your energy consumption. When you look around for the best deals and take these few factors into account, it is easier for you to choose the best energy supplier.
- Assuming the cheapest is the best:
If you are merely comparing the tariff of various electricity companies, you might end up choosing the wrong one. You have to understand what kind of plans they have on offer. Only when you compare apples to apples, you can understand which one will help you save money.
You have to also look at the various charges which they can levy. If the late fees are exorbitant, it is a good idea to avoid that company. Chances are during the tenure; you might be late on payments at least once or twice. If the penalties levied are on the higher side, all your savings might vanish due to those penalties. That is why it is essential for you to look at the penalties and the late fees before taking a call. Also, you have to inquire in advance whether switching between plans will require you to pay any money or not. If the company charges you for changing the plans as well, it can be costly to use that energy supplier in the longer term.You should consider all of these charges which the energy supplier can levy and after that take a call.
- Ignoring reviews:
Many people do not even research reviews of energy suppliers online. You cannot ignore those reviews. The reviews online are from actual customers. Hence, you need to spend some time finding out the reviews of the energy supplier which you plan on choosing. When you do so, you can easily shortlist the best energy supplier in your area. Firsthand feedback from actual consumers can help you know more about the energy supplier which you plan on choosing.
It will help you down the line. At the same point in time, it will apprise you about the company policies and the kind of customer support which they have on offer. Only once you can find a company with excellent reviews online, you can switch over to that energy supplier. If the reviews are not up to the mark, it is a good idea to avoid such an energy supplier. Once you keep this factor in mind, that is only when it is easier for you to choose the right energy supplier.
- Not reading the contract:
When you’re switching the energy supplier, most of the companies will require you to sign a contract. Most people do not read the agreement. Even though it can take a couple of hours to go through the contract and understand each and everything, it is a good idea to always go through the contract. Most companies can send the contract to your email. That is why you can go through the contract at your home and after that choose the energy supplier.
The main advantage of going through such contracts is that you can quickly know about any hidden charges or any hidden costs which you will have to bear. When you know about these, it is easier for you to calculate the actual value of the plan. It will help you choose an affordable plan. Moreover, you can know the terms and conditions of the plan right away. You will know right away the details of the plan. While many people think that it is a futile task, but the truth is that, you can easily choose the best energy supplier just by going through the contracts which they have on offer.
- Not keeping a watch on deals and promotions:
Many energy suppliers from time to time, launch deals and promotions. You can keep track of these deals and promotions online. They often offer you the first month free or the first couple of months free. When you get such deals, it is the perfect time to switch your energy supplier. It will allow you to save a significant amount of money.
There are a few tips which you can follow to know more about these deals and promotions. We will highlight the steps below.
- You should always follow the social media pages and communities of the energy suppliers.
- You should always search for deals online.
- You should search for coupons of that particular energy supplier in search engines.
- You should speak with the customer support department of the company to know more about such deals.
With the help of these four steps, it is easier for you to know about these deals right away. If the energy supplier which you want to choose has an email newsletter on offer, it is a good idea to sign up for that as well. It will allow you to get emails about the latest deals which they have on offer. When you switch your energy supplier during a promotion or a special offer, you can save a significant amount of money which will help you bring down your energy costs significantly.
Many times, when an existing consumer of the energy company refers you, you as well as the consumer can get an incentive. You have to ask your family and friends if they use the same energy supplier. When that is the case, you can avail the referral benefit and gain a discount while choosing that energy supplier.
So, if you’re planning on switching the energy supplier, it is essential to avoid these eight common mistakes. Avoiding these mistakes will not only make your entire experience seamless but also help you save a significant amount of money while switching over the energy supplier. It can also help you avoid hidden charges and penalties. You can follow the step-by-step guide above to choose the perfect energy supplier in your area.