Using Price Comparison Websites

We believe that you’ll get a better deal by joining the Energy Buyers’ Club. We use the bulk buying power of our members to negotiate special tariffs which should beat anything else on the market. What’s more, we carry on doing this every year so you never end up on a poor value Standard Rate Tariff.

That said, we recognise that some people might prefer to do things for themselves. This short guide gives some hints on how to get the most out of Price Comparison Websites.

If it sounds like too much hassle but you’re still not convinced by the Energy Buyers’ Club then please at least contact your current supplier and ask about moving to a better tariff with them. It’s not likely to save you as much money as testing the whole market but it’s better than doing nothing at all!

Price Comparison Websites

There are a number of price comparison companies - you’ll almost certainly be aware of them from their extensive adverts on TV and in the press. If you’ve followed the earlier guides you will already have your annual usage figures and your supply numbers needed for a switch.

Take your pick of price comparison sites. They may ask you to enter personal details and create an account before you can get your results. If you read the detailed Terms and Conditions you are probably allowing them to use these details for wider marketing - check that you are happy with this arrangement, particularly if the Terms allow details to be passed to another company.

The next step is to enter your annual usage details and search for the best deal for your household. Take care with the small print here. Some companies have a preferred list of suppliers who pay them a significant referral fee for every customer they acquire through the comparison site. Make sure you are searching for the whole market, not a reduced list of companies who you can switch through the comparison site, after all, if you’re going to all this effort you really do want to try to get the best deal.

You should now have a list of potential deals with estimated annual costs based on the consumption levels you entered. Look very carefully through the list. In the past Price Comparison Sites have been criticised for highlighting deals which give them more commission, but are not the best for the individual consumer. If you’re mainly looking for the best deal then check through the list for the lowest annual cost, you might also want to take into account other factors, such as green energy if that’s your thing.

If you want to play safe you should choose a competitor Price Comparison Site and go through the same process. All being well they should confirm that you’ve identified the best deal. If they don’t that suggests that somehow one or both of the searches have only covered part of the market and you should review the options you chose when making the searches.

Once you’re happy you’ve identified the best deal you can either go to the company direct or switch through your chosen Price Comparison Company, if they have the option for the deal you’ve chosen. At this stage you’ll need to give them your personal details and energy supply details we helped you find in earlier guides. From there the new supplier will use the industry standard switching process to transfer your account. They will keep you informed throughout this process and it is likely that they will ask for meter readings so that your existing supplier can settle your account.

That’s it - you’ve shopped around and got the best deal that the market can provide! Don’t forget to set a reminder to do the same thing in a year's time to avoid ending up on a poor value standard tariff.

Hassle?

If all of that sounded like a bit of a hassle it's because it really is! To be really sure of getting the best deal you have to enter your details into two comparison sites, perhaps having to register your details each time as well. Then you have to carefully make sure that you’re searching the whole market, rather than just through a list of preferred suppliers. You then have to identify the best deal on the list for you, rather than the Price Comparison Company. Finally, once you’ve chosen your new supplier you have to punch in your supply details and make the switch. Oh, and set a reminder to do all that again in 12 months time to avoid getting moved onto another bad deal.

Final push for the Energy Buyers’ Club

The hassle of shopping around and the lack of consumer engagement in the energy market was the main reason for creating the Energy Buyers’ Club. I wanted someone else to do all the difficult stuff for me and just come back with a great offer every year. The Club does the shopping around and negotiating for you, giving you details of the best deal we could negotiate and checking whether you want to switch. Simple.

If you’re already a super organised shopper you won’t be needing an annual reminder to shop around, but you could still benefit from our bulk buying power to get better than market tariffs. Why not give us a chance, remember, you will always have at least a fortnight to reject a deal if you decide that it’s not for you!