You can make vast savings on annual energy bills by swapping energy supplier. However, your payment method makes a significant difference too.
By switching your energy tariff or supplier and changing your payment method, you can maximise upon your savings.
Cash or cheque
You can ring your provider to fulfil payment of your bill by credit or debit card, or you can take your bill into the bank or post office and pay it in cash or by cheque.
This method of payment enables you to control when the payment for the bill leaves your account. However, you can incur a fee from certain banks and building societies for processing bill payments so be cautious of where you pay.
Beat the Energy Price Rises
You could save up to £389* on gas and electricity for your home
Compare all UK suppliers including fixed, capped and online tariffs and switch in minutes
Even though your energy supplier will not charge you an additional fee for opting not to pay by direct debit, you will not be able to benefit from any extra discount offered by energy providers to reward you for ensuring timely payments.
Monthly direct debit is the most reasonable method to pay your bill. Most energy suppliers provide discounts to customers who pay by direct debit as it ensures bills are met on time.
British Gas, for example, provides you savings of up to £73 with its WebSaver 6 tariff to customers who pay their gas and electricity bills by direct debit.
It is of course vital that you have the funds in your account to meet the bill payment.
Ensure that you know precisely what date the payment is going to be taken on, and have sufficient funds in the bank to cover it.
If you do not have sufficient funds in your bank, and the payment is refused, you can be fined further by your energy supplier.
Most people get around this by setting their direct debit payments to leave their account a few days after their wages go in.
Some suppliers can offer to take direct debit payments from special prepayment accounts for individuals who do not have a bank account, or an account which does not permit direct debit payment payments. You will need to check with your supplier to check out if they offer such a service.
Opting for paperless billing and online account management is a fantastic way to boost your savings upon switching. It is environmentally friendly and saves suppliers money on paper, postage, as well as technicians who would otherwise have to read the meters. These savings are then passed on to you.
You can get discounts from energy suppliers for signing up to paperless billing and online account management and you will not of course ever overpay an estimated bill.
The British Gas WebSaver 6 provides you with a discount of £88 and E.ON EnergyOnline offers you an average discount of £143.
Once you are an online only customer you will need to take your own meter readings, enter the details online, where you can access and amend your account, view your direct debit payment details and pay your bill should you not be a direct debit customer.
Only credit meter customers are offered paperless billing accounts.
This method of payment is considered to be the most expensive way of paying for energy. Hereby you use a prepayment meter; you top up a card or key and pay for your energy as you use it. This happens because meters are set at standard rates and you are not able to benefit from any reductions for direct debit payments or any online discounts.
Moreover, certain older prepayment meters need to be manually updated, so, you do not receive any price reductions until that has been done.
Ofgem figures confirm that prepayment customers make the biggest savings by swapping energy provider and having a credit meter.
Should you be somewhat concerned about not managing to meet the cost of your energy bills, you can opt for a fixed rate tariff, which offers savings, whilst guaranteeing that your payments remain at the same rate for up to years.
If you are experiencing problems making fuel payments, a prepayment meter is not your best option.
Get in touch with your energy supplier who may be able to place you on a special tariff for vulnerable customers.