Check and switch supplier
Energy bills are a significant concern for households but you could save money on your fuel bill by simply checking you’re not paying more than you need to for your energy. Follow our three simple steps below and you could reduce your fuel bill without having to cut down on the energy you use.
Check you are getting the best deal from your current supplier
Switching suppliers isn’t the only way to get a better deal.
Most suppliers offer discounts for managing your account online or choosing a ‘dual fuel’ deal.
You should get personalised information on your bill about the cheapest tariff your supplier can offer you, and how much you can save. If your circumstances change in the meantime, call your supplier to discuss your options.
Use our price comparison tool to compare prices from different energy suppliers.
Check if there is a better way to pay your bills
The way you pay your bill can also make a difference. For example, most suppliers offer a discount for paying your bill by direct debit. On average it is £100 cheaper per year to pay by monthly direct debit than paying by cash or cheque.
You may also get discounts for receiving bills online, as this cuts down on paper and reduces costs for the supplier, and is good for the environment.
Contact your supplier directly to find out if there is a better way for you to pay, and that might save you money.
Check you are getting all the benefits and help you are entitled to
Making sure you are receiving all the help you are entitled to will make paying for fuel bills and other household expenses easier.
Did you know that over £20bn in benefits and tax credits goes unclaimed in the UK? That's enough to pay the fuel bills of millions of homes!
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, or simply want to make sure that you are getting all the financial help you are entitled to, your local Citizens Advice can help you to check that you are not missing out on any benefits or tax credits that could boost your income.
If you've reached state pension age you may get a Winter Fuel Payment to help with winter heating costs. This will be paid in the same way your benefit or pension is paid. If you’ve not received a Winter Fuel Payment before, phone the Winter Fuel Payments helpline on 0800 731 0160 to apply.
Some people who receive benefits can also get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 if the temperature drops below freezing in their local area for seven days in a row. You don't need to apply – if you are eligible it will be paid automatically in the same way you receive your benefits.
The Warm Home Discount scheme is a Government scheme, whereby energy suppliers provide rebates to households on certain benefits. The rebate is £140 for 2019/20 and you should check with your supplier to see if they offer the Warm Home Discount - not all suppliers are part of the scheme.
If you've applied for the Warm Home Discount but you switch supplier before you get the payment, you have to apply again with your new supplier. Your new supplier might have different rules about who gets the discount. For more information visit our advice page.
Many people stay on the same tariff or with the same energy supplier for years, without realising they could be getting a better deal elsewhere. By switching tariffs or suppliers, or joining an oil club, you could save hundreds on your fuel bill.
Take control of your energy costs - why pay more than you have to?
Switch suppliers or tariffs
Make sure you can enjoy a comfortable, healthy home without the anxiety of ever-rising costs. If you’ve never switched before, it is well worth having a look around to see what’s on offer.
Check whether you could save money with the Citizens Advice energy price comparison tool which is free, uses a full market comparison, totally independent and gives us a customer service rating out of 5 stars for the major energy companies.
We also have advice and tips on what to think about when switching.
If you don't have internet access you can phone the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
To make sure you get the best deal, you’ll need to have some information with you including, the name of your current supplier and tariff, the among of energy you use, how you currently pay and your postcode.
Other suppliers have also signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which commits them to provide a reliable and hassle-free switch.
Switching suppliers - more information
You can find out more about switching suppliers or for more detailed information, check our advice pages:
Use heating oil for fuel?
If you use heating oil it can be more difficult for you to shop around and feel hard to switch supplier. But you do have some options - the Oil save website can help you find out about alternative suppliers in your area, and to get a better deal you might consider joining or setting up a local oil buying club.
Oil clubs are a great way to save money on fuel costs. In simple terms, you can use the collective buying power of a group in your local area to negotiate a better deal from oil suppliers by buying in bulk and getting deliveries at the same time. Discounts of up to 10 per cent are possible, and they also help the environment by cutting down the number of tanker journeys on roads. Find out more on ACRE’s website (England only).