Delegate the search for the best energy deal
There is help to find the best energy deal for people who never get round to switching provider.
Most people's household bills will have gone up recently owing to price rises on everything from council tax to broadband. For example, all of the "Big Six" energy firms put up their prices in response to regulator Ofgem increasing the energy-price cap. In the region of 15 million customers will see bills rise by more than £100 a year.
The good news, though, is that this doesn't have to be the case. In fact, if you switch to a cheap fixed-rate energy deal, you could save £329 per year compared with the typical "Big Six" standard tariff, according to a round-up of the cheapest dual-fuel deals by comparison site Money Saving Expert. The cheapest fixed-rate energy deal available at present is from Outfox the Market.
The people who will feel the full effect of the energy-price rise are those on their provider's standard-variable rate (SVR). That's the price you get moved onto once your introductory deal has ended. So if you haven't switched provider for a couple of years, you're probably overpaying.
To ensure you're getting a good deal visit a comparison website such as moneysupermarket.com or uswitch.com and type in the details provided on your energy bills. Ideally, you need to switch every time your current deal runs out.
There's always a service
The biggest of the three is Look After My Bills. It promises to never switch you if it will incur exit fees; only to move you for a saving of more than £50; and that it will honour your wishes if you want to stick to 100% renewable deals.
Many of these sites also blacklist companies that are about to go bust, so you don't have to worry about being automatically switched to a firm that can't honour its low-price offers.
The drawback? It is still worth occasionally checking the whole market for the best energy deals. Auto-switching services don't necessarily search all the tariffs available, only the ones signed up with them. You can get around that with Flipper, which searches the entire market, but there is a £25 fee for its service.