UK households could become Christmas debt-free by making a simple switch.
Almost one million (900,000) people who have never switched energy provider could cover the cost of Christmas borrowing by switching energy supplier, according to new analysis from Citizens Advice.
Over three million people in Britain borrowed up to £150 to cover the cost of Christmas in 2018.
Of those one million had never switched energy provider, the independent charity network revealed.
By switching to a more competitive energy company, people could save over £150 on average, allowing them to cover the cost of their Christmas borrowing.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, says: “switching energy supplier or tariff is often the easiest way to make big savings on your bills. Even with the price cap now in place it’s important to check that you’re getting the best deal.
“As well as switching, it’s important that people know that extra grants and benefits may be available to them. These can help take the pressure off their finances and support them to make their homes more energy efficient.”
How to get the best energy deal
These simple tips can help make sure you get the best energy deal which could save you hundreds of pounds a year.
1) Check your tariff
It’s important to check what type of energy tariff you're on.
If you're on a fixed price energy tariff, the price you pay per unit of energy that you use won't change for a certain period of time.
Variable energy tariffs are often more expensive as the price you pay per unit of energy changes at the discretion of your supplier.
If you're fixed tariff is coming to to an end or you're already on a variable energy tariff you should start looking around for a better deal.
2) Shop around
Price comparison websites are a great place to start when shopping around for a new energy provider.
They allow you to search through hundreds of deals from different companies quickly and easily.
You'll need to have a recent energy bill or annual statement to hand which contains details about your current energy plan.
If you don't have a recent energy bill, you can contact your current energy provider for the information.
As well as looking at price, be sure to check how their customer service is rated to ensure that you get the right assistance if you have a query.
If you find a better deal elsewhere then it’s worth switching provider.
Your new provider will arrange the switch and ask you to provide your most recent meter readings.
Most energy companies have signed up to the 'Energy Switch Guarantee' which means that it shouldn't take more than 21 days to complete your switch.
Whether you decide to switch energy provider or stick with your current one, paying by direct debit can often get you a discount on your bill.
Some suppliers also offer a discount if you opt for online bills too.
It’s also worth checking if you’re entitled to energy grants such as the Warm Home Discount or Cold Weather Payment which could help cut the cost of your bill.