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Switching gas supplier: not just a lot of hot air

Unbelievably I have saved well over £1,000 on my energy bill – just by switching supplier.

I knew you could cut your costs quite radically doing this but I never got round to it.

To be frank, I could never figure out my annual usage and then got stalled on the comparison websites when they asked for that number.

However, after British Gas emailed me a reminder that my fixed contract was up for renewal - and that its partner Sainsbury’s could give me an eyewateringly better deal -I decided to work it out.

I thought I would have to locate and tot up every monthly bill. I was wrong. It was actually really easy because British Gas shows graphs of your usage (in the Your Account menu) if you have online access. So I just used the 2015 figure to do some further research.

Kerching! The www.uswitchcom site found some radically cheaper options including Octopus, Sainsbury’s and npower, in that order. I’d never heard of Octopus so I plumped for the Sainsbury’s one-year fix.

Wow – a grand up, but Minted HQ is fairly large and expensive to heat. It’s about a 30% saving, which seems a lesser figure than being a grand up. Nonetheless, that’s cash saved and doesn’t it make you wonder what British Gas was doing with all my loot/excess profit?

Bless them, the only perk I ever got off them was a £50 Amazon voucher. It didn’t work out as a saving because it evaporated into online shopping for kids’ toys and junk we never needed.

The Sainsbury’s deal is not so perfect because there are £30 per fuel exit penalties if you quit midway through the contract. But these are waived in the six to seven weeks at the end for you to have enough time to find another supplier if needed.

I used a switching site because the changeover is handled for you: I wasn’t confident that going it alone would be that smooth. The sites do get paid commission though. You have to check you have pressed the whole market button and aren’t just viewing the deals the site gets paid for.

 Go on – have a look yourself. We’ve got a guide to cutting fuel bills here and it’s easier than you think. What could you do with a 30% saving? Topping up the handbag fund, that’s for sure.

Stop badgering me

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Monday, 22 April 2019