Help Guide: Utilities
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A consumer’s guide to Gas Electricity

Over recent years it seems that Gas and Electricity prices haven’t stopped rising; and despite government promises to tackle the issues each year seems to see another increase of at least 5% to the average person's fuel bill. If you've found yourself in this situation then you are far from alone. However, there are things that you can do to drive down the cost of your bills and this guide will tell you about them.

Getting the best deal on your Gas Electricity
Using energy price comparison websites
Energy price comparison websites make for an excellent starting point in your quest for a better deal. Here you can enter your details and receive tailored quotes as according to your usage.
It’s highly advisable when using these websites that you enter completely accurate energy usage; not doing so may see you switching to a provider that is more expensive than your current one.

Calling providers directly
Not all gas electricity providers are listed on energy price comparison websites, so establishing which companies aren’t and phoning them directly is key to gaining a full idea of the current offers. Indeed, the fact that such companies do not have to pay the commission fees of such websites very often means that they are able to be more competitive on their gas electricity packages.

Dual Fuel versus Separate providers
Although the majority of energy providers tout their discounts for dual fuel deals you shouldn’t take it as read that such deals work out to be cheaper when compared to using separate providers. You should gather quotes for using the same gas electricity provider, as well as separate deals.

Comparing like for like
Whether you opt to use an energy website, call companies directly, or both, you need to ensure that you’re comparing packages like for like. Look at factors such as the differing rates at certain times of the day, consider discounts for direct debits and ask about dual fuel discounts.

Other factors to consider when choosing a Gas Electricity supplier
Are you being charged too much?
The first thing to do prior to looking into a supplier switch is to check that you’re actually been charged the correct amounts for your energy use. As a starting point you should monitor your energy usage (through a smart meter) to see if the figures are accurate. Additionally however you should study your bill in detail and check that the tariff you're on is being applied correctly. In the case of any discrepancies it is essential that you phone your provider so that they can look into it further for you.

Length of contract
Some providers will lock you into a deal once you’ve switched and your prices may not be fixed for that period of time. Checking how long the contract is that you’re entering is essential to avoiding price hikes that you legally can’t get out of.