As we've gone back to winter today, I thought I'd better hit the comparison websites for a new energy deal. Last year I managed to save around £1,000 by switching to Sainsbury’s from British Gas. Could I do the same again?
Well, not by staying with Sainsbury’s. They’re more than keen to boot me off the special deal on to their standard tariff which would mean a 43% increase on last year. I think not! So I flicked up uSwitch.com to see what other, better options were available.
I was – perhaps unrealistically – expecting to get another grand off. It seems a huge amount but actually amounts to a 30% saving because Minted HQ is a large, rattling window type of place. Joy of joys there was one deal where I would get £1,033.02 off the new Sainsbury’s quote. With TOTO Energy in Brighton. Which was fine, except I’ve never heard of them.
Be brave, I thought. Give it a go, especially with that amount at stake. You couldn’t switch via uSwitch so I went directly to the TOTO website and typed in my details. I’m perfectly sure I inputted my annual usage correctly and even my date of birth. Nevertheless, the estimate TOTO gave me was for £10,000 a year!
I went swiftly to the next deal, which was with Bulb. This wasn’t so much of a saving at £759.75, although still pretty significant. A nice touch was that the energy was all green-sourced. But the rate was variable and I don’t like unpleasant surprises. Again, I’d never heard of the company which made me wary.
My potential discount was getting less and less as I moved down the list of unfamiliar names. I finally stopped at npower, which also happened to be the deal on to which most people in my area had switched, at least that’s what uSwitch said. It’s a saving of £624.75 and fixed for 13 months, although it has some hefty penalties should I want to leave before the end of the contract.
At least I recognised the name. Then I remembered why: npower has the ignominious distinction of winning third place in the Daily Mail’s Wooden Spoon awards for terrible customer service. That was in 2015, perhaps things have improved since then? I hope so. Brand recognition won over my doubts so fingers crossed. But I’ll be keeping an eye on this Bulb company for next time around.
Do you have any top tips for energy savings? Let us know in the comments below and see the SMM guide to saving on energy bills here.