Switch, our easy guide to reducing your average energy bill

by / Sunday, 29 June 2014 / Published in Switching energy provider
energy review:
James Ashby

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On June 29, 2014
Last modified:January 15, 2016

Summary:

Find out how you can save a mini fortune by swtching your gas and electricity provider.

How switching energy supplier can cut down your average energy bill

The quickest and easiest way to cut down your average electricity bill or your gas bill is to switch energy provider. Just like competitive local supermarket shopping, not all prices are the same and you could be paying a premium price for an item you could be getting for a bargain.

It’s easy to find yourself wasting money by paying high priced bills, whilst unaware that you could be saving up to hundreds of pounds every year. Yet, getting a new quote and switching provider couldn’t be easier. When your thinking about switching energy provider, our recommended provider, Utility Warehouse does all the hard work for you in just a matter of minutes.

This website is here to highlight how every reader can potentially save up to hundreds of pounds a year by switching. Utility Warehouse offer great service to customers wishing to switch their energy provider. For more information follow this link to the Utility Warehouse.

How easy is it to switch energy provider?

Switching has never been easier. You may think you have to need to make a really long cancellation call, fill out lengthy forms and submit other tedious documents, however, you couldn’t be more wrong!

Our recommended utility provider makes switching energy proivder a piece of cake. All you have to do is fill out a simple quote form, chose the package that will save you the most money. Then Utility Warehouse, through their website, will make all the calls, send out all the paperwork and complete the switch for you.

Our switch guide will support you through all your questions. We cover a number of topics, including general information upon the switch itself and how you can reduce your energy bill. You can learn the specifics of how to reduce your average electricity bill, where to get your gas meter reading and how to read your electricity meter. We can even clear up any uncertainty, if you’re asking the question, ’who supplies my gas and electricity?’

You could potentially save hundreds of pounds a year just by taking a few minutes to switch supplier. Not bad hey!

Switch: Step by step guide to reducing your energy bill

As we have already mentioned before, switching your gas and electricity supplier couldn’t be easier. We have chosen Utility Warehouse as our recommended utility provider as they make switching a fast and efficient process. Ease of switching however, isn’t our only reason for choosing Utility Warehouse. Check out our ultimate energy switch guide or find out more information about why we recommend switching energy provider to Utility Warehouse.

  • Let’s begin. Click to access the Utility Warehouse home page.
  • Follow the links to the quote page, where there will be a number of basic questions that are pretty standard when getting an energy quote. Once completed, your quote will be generated.
  • From here you can select the pricing package you like and complete the sign up.

That’s all folks. Utility Warehouse will contact your previous supplier on your behalf to transfer over your gas and electricity. Transfers usually take around 4 weeks and Utility Warehouse will write to you and let you know once this process has been completed. In the meantime, you can relax knowing that you have saved yourself a bunch of money.

Other effective methods of reducing your energy bill

Switching is the quickest and most effective option, however, one of the key ways you can reduce your average energy bills, is to reduce your energy consumption.

Reduce your average electricity bill and gas bill by reducing your consumption of energy. Here’s some handy tips on how you can do this.

Turn down the thermostat

If you could sacrifice a degree or two on your room temperature by turning down the thermostat, you could be saving approximately £75 a year. You can always opt to wear some warmer clothes around the house instead of turning the heating up.

Buying energy efficient appliances

Advancements in technology have enabled the creation of appliances which aim to conserve energy. Energy saving products will reduce the amount of electricity required to run your appliances. Your fridge, freezers, tumble dryers and washing machines cost a significant amount of electricity to run. These amount to approximately 20% of your annual consumption, so reducing the energy required to run these will be very cost efficient.

When you purchase electrical appliances, check out its energy-efficiency rating label. Ratings of A or A+ are the most efficient, whereas appliances with a rating from B to G are increasingly less energy efficient.

Change your bulbs and turn them off when not used

Turning the lights off when you’re not in a room may seem an obvious one, but a lot of people will leave lights on unnecessarily for several hours. Gradually, this builds up over the year, and shows up all too clearly on your bill.

Changing to energy efficient light bulbs is a very effective energy saving method. Like buying energy efficient appliances, efficient light bulbs which will save you around £60 per year.

Effective use of the radiators and boiler

If you have a room that you do not use as much, turn down the radiator temperate in the room. The more radiators you have turned on in the house, the more hot water is required to heat the house. This will in turn add to the cost of your energy.

Although changing your boiler is an expensive investment, by, purchasing an efficient condensing boiler, you will reap the benefits in the long run. It could dramatically reduce your energy bills allowing you to save anything up to £400 per year.

Blocking the drafts and insulating your home

To make the most of your energy, you want to keep as much heat in the house. Reducing the volume of heat escaping through gaps in your windows and walls will save you money in keeping the house warm.

Using draft proofing strips around the windows, doors and loft hatches are a great way to reduce the hot air escaping and the cold air leaking in.

Fitting insulation in your walls and loft is a great way to keep the heat in and the cold out. This will save you heaps of cash every year and will reduce the need to turn the heating on. We estimate you could save anything around £200 per year as a result.

I want to switch, but who supplies my gas and electricity?

When moving into a new house, you may not be given full information of who the current energy supplier(s) is. There may also be a number of other reasons for not knowing. Whatever the reason, let’s help you find this information out.

Just moved in to a new property?

The quickest way to find out who supplies your gas and electricity is by contacting the previous owner, letting agent or landlord. If they are unable to provide this information for any reason, you cannot ascertain the information this way you have another option.

Who supplies my gas?

For gas, you can contact the Meter Number Helpline. Before you call the Meter Number Helpline however, you will be required to provide your MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number). This will be located on your gas meter. This number is between 6 – 10 digits long.

The Meter Number Helpline contact number is: 0870 608 1524

Who supplies my electricity?

For electricity, you can contact your regional electricity distribution company. Before you call, you will be required to provide your Meter Serial Number which is usually located on a label attached to the meter. Phone lines are generally open 9-5 Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays and weekends).

Distribution Region Telephone Number
East Midlands 0845 603 0618
West Midlands 0845 603 0618
London 0845 601 5467
Eastern England 0870 751 0093
Southern England 0845 0262 554
North East England 0845 601 3268
North West England 0870 751 0093
South West England 0845 601 5972
South East England 0845 601 5467
Yorkshire 0845 330 0889
Merseyside and North Wales 0845 270 9101
South Wales 0845 601 5972
Scotland North 0845 0262 554
Scotland South 0845 270 9101

 

Understanding your Gas meter reading

Gas meters can measure gas in a number of different ways. It is important to understand all methods to work out how much energy you have used.

Firstly, the digital meter measurements will be either imperial or metric.

Digital metric meters measure gas in cubic meters (m3). You will want to write down all the numbers to the left of the decimal point (excluding all red numbers). Ignore any zeros that appear before the number.

Digital imperial meters measure gas in cubic feet (ft3). For this measurement you will want to write down the four numbers to the left of the decimal point (again, excluding the red number). Ignore any zeros that appear before the number.

Dial Meters measure gas by using a number of dials that appear in a clock style format. For this measure, write down the number the dial is pointing too, starting from the first dial on the left working your way to the far right dial.

If the dial is between two numbers you may be thinking what do I choose? Always choose the lower number, unless the dial is between the 9 and the 0, in this case write down 9.

Calculating your gas cost from your meter readings

So you’re probably wondering how you calculate your gas bill, if the bill is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). This can get quite complicated but we will simplify this for you as follows.

  • You will need your previous gas reading for your last billing period and the latest meter reading on your gas meter. To get your gas usage from your current period, you simply subtract your old reading from the new one.
  • If your meter reading is in cubic feet, then you will want to multiple your current gas usage by 2.83. This will give you a measurement in cubic meters.
  • If your meter is in cubic meters, then you don’t need to do this.
  • Multiply this by 1.02264.
  • Next, multiply this by the calorific value that is found on your bill. If your bill does not state this then you can ring your gas provider who will give you this information.
  • Once you have multiplied by the calorific value, you need to divide by 3.6. This will give you the value in kWh.
  • Multiple your calculated kWh figure by the unit price of gas you are charged (located on your gas bill) to give you the cost of gas you have used.

Please note that this does not include any standing charges, discounts or VAT in the overall calculation of your bill.

How to read electric meters

If you have just read the gas calculations, you may be relieved to know that electricity meters are measure electricity consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh), the same measure used on your bill.

There are several types of meters you may find in your home. These are, single rate digital meters, dial meters and variable rate meters.

To read the rate on single rate digital meters, you want to focus only on the numbers before the decimal point. The value should be wrote down starting with the left digit first, excluding any preceding zeros, any digits after the decimal points and any red digits.

For the dial meters, the dials on the clock style meter will point to a value between 0 and 9. To read the meter, take down the values from left to right, ignoring the red dials.

If the dial is in-between two numbers and you’re not sure which one to pick, always choose the lower number, unless the dial is between the 9 and the 0, in this case write down 9.

Variable rate meters are often referred to as Economy 7 or White meters.When reading the rate on variable rate meters, you will be faced with 2 values. You will have a separate rate for day time and night time readings. Day time readings are your standard priced readings, whereas night time readings are classed as off-peak.

When writing down your electricity reading on these meters, you will have to write down both values excluding any red digits or 0’s before the actual number.

Calculating your electricity cost from your meter readings

As the meter readings are all measured in kWh, the calculations are made a lot simpler.

  • To calculate your electricity cost for one given period, subtract your previous meter reading from your current meter reading. This will give your electricity usage for the current period.
  • Multiply this by the unit price (rate) of your supplier. This is shown on your electricity bill. This will give you the total cost of gas you have used in that given period.

Please note that this does not include any standing charges, discounts or VAT in the overall calculation of your bill.

Reducing your average energy bill, the overview

So as you can see, saving money on gas and electricity is very achievable. By simply implementing the methods we have highlighted, you can reach your money saving goals.

In terms of time, cost and effort, the most efficient and valuable method of saving money in our opinion is to switch to the supplier we recommend, Utility Warehouse and completing the switch. You can read more about the 7 reasons why we recommend switching gas and electricity supplier or check out our guide to the Utility Warehouse for more information on our most favoured utility supplier.

The other methods we have mentioned are greatly beneficial to reducing your energy consumption and will also help to save the environment. Changing your appliances, light bulbs or insulating your homes will have an initial cost, but the long term savings will prove their worth.

We hope this has helped you and it could help your friends and family too. Share the love!

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