Why should I switch suppliers? Can I win the Gas and Electricity price wars?

We can win but we need to change the way we think about our energy supply.

As a nation, many of us stay loyal to our Energy suppliers without a good explanation. We comment on how much last quarter’s bill was or how much the direct debits has just gone up yet our attitudes towards switching plays right into the hands of those suppliers who simply aren’t giving us the best deals.

Are we all guilty of switching off as soon as we hear about a cheaper supplier or are we just that lazy? I hear some people talk of their fear of switching suppliers in case the prices are hiked up on them or their previous supplier becomes cheaper.

None of us are too lazy to stretch a few more miles out of the fuel tank as we drive around looking for a cheaper service station, of course we’ve probably just wasted fuel in getting there and caused minor damage to our cars by pulling debris from the bottom of the tank through the engine. Why is it that we would go through such efforts to save money and still do nothing about our energy bills?

My take on all of this is simple, due to our ignorance and laziness, the big suppliers are laughing all the way to the bank. Millions of us have switched some form of monthly outgoing beit Mortgages, Mobile Phone bills, Home and Car Insurance – even Banks. Surely we can’t be that lazy or ignorant – can we? We all strive to get the best deals when we buy a car or even when we go to the supermarket, so why do we insist on paying too much for our Energy.

It’s not the fault of the suppliers, if they have millions of customers, why should they drop their prices? The fact is that there are better deals out there and many of the lower priced suppliers have high levels of customer service too. We constantly moan about the price of our gas and electricity and yet we still refuse to budge.

What seems to be stuck in our minds is that when the market was deregulated, armies of door knockers were mobilized and sent out in their hundreds to catch us just as we sat down for our dinner. By switching our suppliers with them we might have a brand new Bentley on our drives go off for a 3 month cruise around the Carribean! Ok maybe not but you get the idea. People were writing into TV’s Watchdog in their masses complaining about how they haven’t saved any money or they haven’t received a statement for 9 months and just got hit with a huge bill. Nowadays, there are very tight regulations that energy companies must adhere to in order to satisfy it’s customers.

Is this still in our minds? Or is it just an excuse to do nothing. The fact remains that millions of UK homes are wasting ¬£millions every year on over priced energy bills and we seem to be happy to carry on trying to ignore the fact that Mr lower priced supplier can save us up to and over ¬£330 per year. Imagine if our house or car insurance quotes came out that much cheaper, we’d bite their hands so fast that we could get arrested for a hand biting related incident (not sure if this is an actual crime in the UK but I wouldn’t be surprised). Of course the crazy part of it is that many of these lower priced suppliers actually offer a better level of customer service than some of the more expensive suppliers according to figures found on many price comparison sites such as Money Angels.

So, can we win from the Gas and Electricity price wars? Of course we can, we just have to do something about it ourselves and stop waiting for a miraculous price decrease that may never happen. My advice is switch now and if another company offers a better deal, switch again and again, and again. We are only ever have to give our suppliers 28 days notice so take back control and be a more assertive consumer.