Could you save money by switching providers? (Alamy/PA)
Could you save money by switching providers? (Alamy/PA)

Household savings: 5 simple ways to become a smarter switcher

Some 16% of adults never review some of their key household expenses – and they could be missing out on significant sums, finds Vicky Shaw.

Vicky Shaw
Monday 06 September 2021 07:30

Around one in six (16%) adults across the UK never review some of their key household expenses.

This indicates that millions of people are potentially missing out on better deals on products and services such as their bank account, energy bills or broadband, according to the research from money app, Yolt

Pauline van Brakel, chief product officer at Yolt, says: “Many consumers have had a challenging period financially as a result of the pandemic, and with Yolt’s own user data showing utilities bills are rising, and recent announcements such as the Ofgem energy price cap hike due later this year, it’s a good time for people to take stock of their regular outgoings to see if they could save by switching.

“Checking in on whether you are on the best deal available could save you hundreds of pounds a year.”

Wondering whether you could switch and save some money? Here are van Brakel’s tips on how to become a smarter switcher…

1. Check you have the information needed

Depending on the utility or service you are looking to switch, you may need information about your existing account, such as the name of the account holder or any security details or passwords or email addresses associated with the account.

When switching energy providers, you’ll need to check the type of contract or meter you have – for example, some suppliers may not be able to offer tariffs for pre-payment meters. Having all this information to hand will help to ensure the process goes smoothly.

2. Are there any exit fees to pay?

Check whether your existing provider charges exit fees for leaving a plan early – as unfortunately many do. Also find out when the contract ends, so you’ll be able to switch without paying a fee.

3. Are you in credit on your account?

If you pay bills by direct debit, your current energy supplier may actually owe you money. Before switching, always ask your supplier if you are in credit with them, to ensure that you are paid back anything you are owed.

4. Consider going ‘green’

In some cases, choosing to help the planet with certain providers can also help you save money. Many energy providers offer cheap rates for renewable electricity and gas deals.

5.  Finally, do your research

Once you’re ready to switch, consider using price comparison websites as well as contacting providers directly. Once you’ve chosen, check who’s responsible for changing everything over. Often, new providers may do this for you, such as with the current account switch service (Cass), and it may be possible to leave the admin work to them.