While buying your first home is very exciting, trying to set everything up can be a daunting process. One of the things that often gets overlooked in the first few weeks is energy bills.
If you’re a first-time buyer, a new renter or just comparing gas and electricity for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to find the best deal.
In this guide to gas and electricity quotes for first-time buyers, we break down everything you need to know. From the day you get your keys, you can ensure you’ll save money and get the best tariff for you.
Locate Your Energy Meters
We know you will want to get your things in and start life in your new home, but first, you should take a gas and electricity meter reading. Taking a picture is ideal as it gives you evidence should any issues arise later on.
You should take a meter reading even if you do not want to switch energy suppliers. Providing this information to your current supplier ensures that you won’t be charged for the energy you haven’t used.
In most homes, you will find meters in the hall, in the kitchen or outside the property.
There are two types of meters:
- A standard credit meter – displays numbers in a dial or digital form. You will likely be billed monthly or quarterly if you have this type of meter.
- A prepayment meter – this is a ‘pay-as-you-go' meter which lets you pay for your energy in advance by inserting money or a smart key that you top up with credit.
Once you have found your meters, you should take a meter reading (if you have a credit meter) and submit this to your energy supplier when setting up your account.
If you do have a prepayment meter installed, it is worth bearing in mind that these can be much more expensive than paying for your electricity monthly.
If you want to switch from a prepayment meter to a credit meter, the best thing to do is to contact your supplier and request that they change your meter.
Find Your Fuse Box & Trip Switch
When you move into a new home you should find out where your trip switch is. If your electricity suddenly cuts out, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the dark trying to find out where your trip switch is located.
The trip switch will usually be next to your fuse box, within 3 meters of your electricity meter.
Who Is Your Energy Supplier?
When you buy your first home, your gas and electricity suppliers will automatically have been picked out for you by the previous homeowner. This may not be optimal for your needs or the property and comparing energy prices should be one of your priorities.
If you’re moving into a new build property, this should be included in your welcome pack or ask the estate agent.
Your previous homeowners should have informed you which suppliers the home uses, but if they haven’t you can find that information using this site.
Once you have found who your energy supplier is, you can start comparing the latest deals to make sure you’re not paying more than you should.
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Do You Need A Smart Meter?
Smart meters are incredibly useful for keeping track of your energy spending. Most suppliers will offer to install a smart meter and you can request one at any time. They are free and supplied by your energy supplier.
Read more about the benefits of smart meters here.
Which Energy Supplier Is Better For First-Time Buyers?
With energy prices rising rapidly, it’s never been more important to find great prices as a first-time buyer.
You can use our energy comparison tool to search live rates on the market from our trusted suppliers. Not quite ready to switch? You can find an overview of some of the UK’s most popular energy suppliers and some of the benefits they offer:
Compare Prices Now
- Range of tariffs available including dual-fuel tariffs
- Focus on low carbon and energy saving
- Great customer service and support
- Regular joining offers
- Hive Smart Thermostat bundles.
- 100% renewable energy
- Discounts offered
- Easy smart meter and mobile options
- Which? Recommended 5 years in a row.
- Easy to understand tariffs
- Highly accurate bills
- Second most popular supplier after British Gas
- Great customer service
- Renewable options
Average home energy cost breakdown by house size:
Gas and electricity quotes for first-time buyers will be influenced by energy use and household size. Using the guide for average energy usage across small, medium and large homes allows you to understand a benchmark when you compare tariffs.
If you would like to read more about average energy prices by house size, take a look at our average UK home energy bill guide.
What tariffs are available?
It’s also important to be aware of the types of tariffs available to first-time buyers.
A fixed tariff guarantees the price of your energy bill for a set period. This means you will not see any price increases until your contract runs out. However, if energy becomes cheaper it will not decrease either.
Many households choose this type of tariff for stability. However, if prices decrease, many will pay early exit fees to switch to a cheaper deal.
With a variable tariff, your monthly home energy bill goes up and down with market prices.
This is when you choose to have the same supplier for both your gas and electricity. It’s a good option when it comes to home energy for first-time buyers as it makes managing bills easier.
If you would like further guidance on switching energy for the first time, contact the Love Energy Savings team. Our energy experts will provide free, impartial advice on your switch.
Be sure to also read our guide to saving energy at home to save money when you are all settled in.