When was the last time you switched your energy supplier? The majority of us may change car insurers once a year, but many are reluctant to find a better deal for their gas and electricity, often for no reason at all.
New official data seems to show that we’re heading in the right direction, with figures released by the government at the end of June suggesting that the number of homeowners choosing to switch energy suppliers has increased. The number of gas switches increased by 22% from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016, whilst the number of electricity switches rose by 26% for the same period.
Whilst these numbers are encouraging to see, there is still plenty more that can be done to show people just how beneficial it can be for business owners to shop around for their energy too.
To help you out, we spoke to the customer service team here at Love Energy Savings to find out the most common myths and misconceptions they hear when speaking to people on a daily basis.
Some of them surprised us, others we were expecting. But now we’re working hard to change misconceptions and bring cheaper energy bills to as many UK homes and businesses as we can. Read on to see the top eight energy switching myths debunked!
Myth #1 - Switching is too much hassle
Not only is this one of our most commonly heard myths, we also predict that it’s one of the biggest reasons why a lot of people don’t even compare energy prices, let alone switch their suppliers. The truth is that it isn’t complicated at all!
Take the Love Energy Savings comparison engine for example. It takes just 30 seconds and just a few pieces of your information to receive a list of cheap suppliers to choose from. That’s it!
A lot of people are under the impression that they have to handle the switch themselves, with many dreading an “awkward” conversation with their current supplier to tell them they are leaving. The truth is that Love Energy Savings will handle the entire process for you from start to finish, and we’ll keep you up to date with everything that’s happening.
In March 2015, the government confirmed that the amount of time it takes to switch energy suppliers had reduced to just 17 days. This is compared to the five weeks that it used to take in 2014. In the same year, the DECC announced their long term goal to reduce switching times to just 24 hours.
Myth #2 - Price comparison websites can't be trusted
Due to the sheer number of suppliers on price comparison websites, people can sometimes be under the (false) impression that they are nothing more than marketing websites. The truth is that price comparison websites are just a quick way of doing the job yourself; they collate the information from dozens of different sources, present you with unique deals, and give you complete control over what you select.
With Love Energy Savings, our top priority is ensuring that you find a better deal. This means that if you choose to compare your energy through us, we will present you with a long list of suppliers for you to select from. These options will always be primarily beneficial for you, and not the ones that are best for us.
Myth #3 - My personal details will be shared
Leading on from the previous point, due to the very nature of price comparison websites, people appear to be concerned that their personal details will be distributed amongst all suppliers that are listed. In fact, according to the Ofgem Consumer Panel research, people were hesitant to insert their email address for fear of being bombarded with marketing emails.
Any price comparison website worth its salt should not share or sell your details to third parties - this is something Love Energy Savings certainly doesn’t do. If you are concerned, search through the FAQs or terms and conditions of a comparison website to find out their policy. Often there will be a box you can check to withdraw your permission for details to be passed on.
Myth #4 - I won't actually save that much
There’s no concrete way of determining just how much you could save by switching your energy supplier; although let’s face it, every little really does help. But do you know how much could be put back in your pocket just by the simple act of switching?
Let us tell you. The government conducted an analysis of the UK’s average gas and electricity bills, and concluded in February 2016 that around 9.5 million homes across the UK could save more than £300 simply by switching suppliers. They estimated the savings to be around £85 for electricity and £215 for gas.
Using our own data here at Love Energy Savings, we’ve found that our business customers save an average of 40% on their gas and electricity bills and we are proud to report that we have saved our customers a grand total of £9.22 million so far this year (Jan 1st to 27th June 2016). That’s an average of £830 per customer!
Myth #5 - I could find lower energy prices myself
Times have changed a great deal, and the ‘Big Six’ are no longer the only energy suppliers on the market. There are now dozens of different independent suppliers out there offering contracts to both business and domestic customers. Whilst this has the added benefit of giving you a wider variety of options, it also means that there are far more to look through if you wanted to switch suppliers.
One of the great advantages of using a price comparison website is that all of the hard work is done for you. Not only does this cut down on your legwork, but it also means that you get access to far better deals than you usually would. Take Love Energy Savings as an example. We have spent years cultivating strong relationships with each of the suppliers we work with to ensure we bring you the most competitive prices possible.
Myth #6 - I will be charged hidden fees
If you are comparing energy through a price comparison website, then you shouldn’t be charged for using their service. By comparing and switching through Love Energy Savings, you won’t be charged at all; price comparisons with us are completely free!
Some charges you may come across may be in the form of exit fees from your current supplier if you try to switch before the end of your contract. This is why we encourage people to shop around towards the end of their contract, and why we will always contact our customers each year to see if we can find a new and better deal.
Myth #7 - Price is the only thing I should consider
When presented with a list of energy deals and suppliers, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option, and that is often the main factor people will consider. But there are other things to bear in mind. According to the aforementioned Ofgem report, other influences to think about include the standard of customer service that is offered and the length of contract that you are signing up for.
Top tip! Why not check out online customer reviews of the suppliers on the list before you choose? Websites like Trustpilot allow customers to leave a star rating and comments, that way you can get an impression of what they are really like. We’re incredibly proud of our Trustpilot reviews, why not check us out here?
Myth #8 - I'll have to go without power whilst the switch takes place
One of the most common misconceptions we hear is that both business owners and homeowners refrain from switching energy suppliers because they are afraid they are going to have to go without power. This is completely untrue. Whilst you will change supplier, there won’t be any changes to the energy that you receive. There will be no interruption to your supply of power, and nobody will need to visit your home or business to install anything. The only thing that changes is the company name on the bill!
So there you have it, eight of the most common myths we hear about energy comparison, and the truth behind them! Switching is actually incredibly beneficial and, contrary to popular belief, really easy to achieve. But if, for any reason, we haven’t answered any burning questions that you may have, or if you want to find out more about the whole comparing and switching process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today!