Moving house is one of the more stressful activities that we can undertake in our day -to-day lives. Let’s face it, no one like the process of sorting out their belongings, organising the move, or sorting out the utilities at the new address.
I recently moved house after being at the same address for seven years, so the experience for me was particularly traumatic. Upon settling in at my new home I discovered a particularly sneaky trick that is being employed by energy companies to lull the unsuspecting into a false sense of security about their new homes energy deal.
The incumbent supplier had sent a letter addressed to the new occupier, congratulating me on the move and also congratulating me on being one of their new customers. The letter told me that I needed to do nothing except log in online to set up my new account using the supplied credentials and reference numbers and then I would be ready to go. The tone was reassuring and light, phew, thankfully that is one item off my never-ending list of “to-do’s” for my house?
Wrong. If I hadn’t been writing about the gas and electricity market, and the tactics used by the suppliers, for the past three years the letter may have made me complacent. Looking at the finer details of the new deal I was on showed that it was a variable rate plan that was £100 more a year on average than their own cheapest deal, and nearly £200 more expensive than the cheapest tariff offered by a rival supplier.
Why am I not naming and shaming the supplier in question? It’s simple, they all employ the same tactic. If you don’t shop the market you will be on a standard deal with your supplier, paying hundreds more than those on cheap tariffs with the same company.
The key thing for all consumers is to stay on top of their energy plans, and shop around regularly to be aware of who is setting the pace in the market. It may not be the most interesting activity, but the level of savings you could make greatly offset the few minutes it takes to run a price comparison. I now have the peace of mind that for the next year I have a competitive deal, and am not simply swallowed up on a supplier standard deal.