Most businesses and households will probably be aware that the cost of both gas and electricity is rising rapidly, so much so in fact that it is becoming unaffordable for many people and businesses who are struggling to make ends meet.
Those facing astronomical energy costs could look at cutting back on their usage of gas and electricity, but if that’s not possible, there’s always the option of switching energy supplier, but until now, that has proved to be extremely complicated.
Regulators to the Rescue
A move by energy market regulators has helped to make it much easier for both households and businesses to switch suppliers if they feel that they’re spending more than is necessary on their energy bills. One of the major obstacles in the way of people who previously wanted to get their energy supply from elsewhere was the level of debts they owed their old supplier. The old limit was set at $200, but that has been moved upwards to a far more comfortable $500.
Customers who use prepay meters are the ones most likely to be affected by this move. Prepay meter users are more likely to find themselves in debt, especially if they’re using more energy than expected, but the move should make it easier for them to find a better, cheaper deal with another supplier, something which is being welcomed by a number of consumer groups and companies including Make It Cheaper. The energy savings experts released this statement on why companies switch, especially from the larger suppliers:
“Research we conducted amongst our customers showed that smaller companies have better reputations than the so-called ‘big six’, citing good customer service and, above all else, low prices as reasons. Both poor customer services and billing issues were reasons why our clients were dissatisfied with their previous energy suppliers, which is why we decided to step in and help companies looking to save money on their energy costs.”
The average debts of customers who use prepayment meters stood at around $371 in 2011, meaning that under the old rules, they couldn’t move before paying their debts off. However, this is a thing of the past, making those with negligible arrears freer to move elsewhere in spite of the fact that, mainly because of higher prices, they owed them money. This shows that now is the right time for companies looking to get cheaper gas and electricity to switch if they’re being charged too much.
Do you feel like you’re being charged too much for gas and electricity?