Last week we advised many of you to begin looking at switching your energy suppliers in response to the big six price hikes. Not only would this help the energy market, but you could also find some excellent deals to be had by deviating from mainstream suppliers. But with so many tariffs out there it can be difficult to know where to start. Here is some of the most common terminology explained to help you with your searches…
Dual Fuel Tariff
This is the term you’ll read most often basically refers to getting your gas and electricity from the same supplier. For one thing, this can make life a little bit easier but it also quite often opens the doors to cheaper plans and exclusive tariffs which are otherwise unavailable.
Capped Energy Tariff
This type of tariff basically guarantees that you’ll only pay up to a fixed amount per kilowatt per hour for your electricity for a predetermined length of time. This can protect you from unexpected energy price rises and is something that’s obviously becoming increasingly less common as wholesale prices are being pushed up and green levies are coming in. Finding a capped energy tariff at a reasonable price would be an excellent move this winter. While these capped energy tariffs are often charged at a higher rate than a standard tariff, it’s worth the expense if you fear energy price rises might be just around the corner and want to protect yourself from the financial blow.
Fixed Energy Tariff
Similar to the capped energy tariff, fixed energy tariffs mean that you’ll only pay an agreed fixed amount per kilowatt per hour for a predetermined time period. However, while the capped tariff offers a bit of flexibility and the option of saving money should wholesale or energy prices go down, the fixed energy tariff will see you missing out the action. It’s advisable not to get locked into a fixed energy tariff for too long - if prices go down for regular customers, you won’t benefit.
Online Energy Tariffs
Energy companies like you to manage your accounts with them online. It saves them having to post things to you, keeps their carbon footprint (in terms of printing) down, and often results in easier payment methods. Most energy companies will offer their cheapest tariffs online in order to draw in customers. They’re advantageous in that you can view your bills online, pay them in a number of different ways, and you can enter your own meter readings. It’s also worth noting that you can still phone your energy company should you have any problems and you don’t have to pay online - you can pay in any way you like. If you’ve got access to the internet, you’ll find the best deals here.
Always remember to check energy companies thoroughly before you commit to anything. Read customer reviews, ask around in forums and use a good, unbiased comparison website to make sure you’re getting the absolute best deal.