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How you can get the best deal on #fuelbills without lifting a finger

pig bathI managed to save £624.75 this year by switching my energy supplier. Hurrah for npower (I never thought I'd hear myself say that). That's the difference between what they estimate they'll charge me for the next 13 months and what Sainsbury's were going to extract if I stayed with them.

Six hundred quid in the Aperol fund makes me smile. But, ideally, shouldn't Sainsbury's have given me some kind of bonus for sticking with them past a one-year contract? It can't make sense in the long term for energy companies to dole out massively discounted fuel for new customers, only to have them disappear off to a more juicy deal with another provider when the term is up.

Inertia is what the energy companies rely on. Having allowed you to wallow in cheap hot water for a year, they're hoping that you're so dozy that you won't notice they've booted you on to the much more expensive standard tariff. Or that you can't be bothered to switch to a better deal.

Naturally, as a money blogger, I'm more nimble than that. Especially when it comes to saving enough on fuel for most of a mini-break. Nevertheless, I can't say that it's the most exciting past-time. It doesn't matter how easy they make it, or how much the government encourages us to do it, switching is dull and the kind of job which gets consigned to the bottom of the pile. And it needs to be done every year.

There is a solution though: get someone else to do it. One busy SMM reader (thanks LH!) told me about a service called Flipper (https://flipper.community). This online service essentially does the work for you. You provide the minimum details and Flipper searches for the best deal. You don't even need an energy bill. Once signed up, Flipper checks your bills and scours the market for the best deals four times a year. If it finds one, it will switch you automatically. This costs £25 a year.

Alternatively, you can look at the Cheap Energy Club on Money Saving Expert (https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/cheapenergyclub) which has a similar service for free. The main difference is that Money Saving Expert is paid for any switches it makes by the energy suppliers. Flipper is paid for by its users. 

I've not used either service so if anyone has any experience of it, let us know your recommendation (or otherwise) in the comments box below. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for someone to launch a Flipper for car and home insurance. Then I'd actually have time to drink the savings I make.

See the SMM guide to saving on fuel bills here.

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Thursday, 13 December 2018