The internet has completely changed the way we shop for things, and energy is no different. Nowadays you can go to a whole raft of price comparison sites to find which is cheapest, and usually you will find a great deal that will save you money. There are plenty of sites out there and it can only be good for competition.
Uswitch is the only government endorsed price comparison site for energy, which would lead you to believe that it was the way to find the best price. Recently however, there has been some criticism of the way Uswitch displays its results. Here I will show you how you can ensure you get all the options available!
The misleading tick box
When you are filling out your details on Uswitch there will be a little question at the end, as you can see below, asking ‘Show plans we can switch you to today?’. If you click yes, it will show you all of the providers that Uswitch will allow you to automatically switch to on their site. If you click no, it will also include providers for which you would have to call the supplier itself to switch over. This is usually because Uswitch does not have an arrangement with the provider in question.
Let me clarify how Uswitch gets their money. Every time someone switches supplier through their website, they will have an agreement in place with the supplier that means they make a commission. Of course, not every one of the smaller suppliers are signed up with Uswitch, so the comparison site is less likely to want to show you those deals, even if they are cheaper. I have seen many customers who get better deals when they tick the ‘no’ box, so make sure you don’t miss out just because of this!
Having said this, don’t get put off using the site. You really do save money. I have seen time and again customers save £250 a year just by a few clicks. And just because you switched a year or two ago, does not mean you are still getting the best tariff. Your tariff could have ended and you will have been put onto a standard more expensive tariff, there may be more appropriate tariffs new to the market, or your energy usage habits could have changed, meaning your tariff is no longer appropriate for you.
Dual fuel or single?
Dual fuel tariffs are all the rage these days. They are easier to administer, and you just have one supplier to deal with. But are they cheaper? Actually, in my experience they can be more expensive in some cases. If you don’t mind dealing with 2 providers, try looking at the gas and electric rates on Uswitch and adding the savings on the 2 best tariffs. If the total is much more than the best dual fuel tariff, you might prefer to go for a 2 tariff option. The savings are typically small – I have seen some tariff combinations £50 cheaper than dual fuel, but for those on low incomes, that extra bit of admin might be worth it.
Some suppliers will offer a duel fuel discount, but this isn’t always the case and it is usually not much more than a tenner. So don’t assume duel fuel is always cheaper!
Think we missed something? Do you have a different opinion?
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