The proof that dual fuel deals are not always the cheapest: the best rates if you divide your suppliers … and if you don't
- The total saving of switching and splitting can go up to £ 390
- The average annual bill for 11 million customers with a standard energy tariff is £ 1,254
- The cheapest deals on the market lower the bill to £ 864 per year for average use
Millions of households could benefit from cheaper energy bills if they split suppliers with one for gas and electricity.
The gradual death of & # 39; dual fuel & # 39; discounts for customers choosing the same supplier to manage their gas and electricity means that individual deals can now be the way to save pounds & # 39; s at amazingly high energy costs .
For people whose bills stray to a & # 39; standard rate & # 39; – the standard rate that applies unless a customer chooses a specific deal with his provider or a competitor – the total saving of switching and splitting could be up to £ 390.
A few deals could now be the way to save pounds of staggeringly high energy costs
It has always been an option to have a different supplier for gas and electricity. But special discounts for those who double at the same company made dual-fuel rates both simpler and cheaper.
But this photo changes because discounts disappear.
Victoria Arrington, from energyhelpline's comparison service, says: & # 39; There has been a decrease in suppliers offering double fuel discounts. These originally helped suppliers save money on administration and other operational costs because they provided more fuel for one account or household.
& # 39; Now that almost all suppliers are somehow digital or online, double fuel discounts are no longer as relevant as they once were. & # 39;
The total saving of switching and splitting can go up to £ 390
The average annual bill for 11 million customers based on a standard energy tariff is £ 1,254 – the price limit set by regulator Ofgem for a dual-use dual fuel deal.
But splitting gas and electricity suppliers with the cheapest deals on the market lowers the bill to £ 864 per year for average use. This is £ 47 a year cheaper than the best dual-fuel offer from Utility Point.
Arrington adds: & # 39; This may not seem great, but energy is the easiest major bill to switch and this saving can be achieved within minutes. & # 39;
Savings begin to widen depending on the type of rate being searched for. Those looking for a & # 39; green & # 39; rate, for example, can save up to £ 80 per year by splitting suppliers. Hunting a fixed-rate rate can save £ 55 a year by dumping dual fuel.
But there are also many disadvantages to this plan. Splitting suppliers is the most attractive for people who are above average energy consumers and who want to reduce their household budget.
Customers should also be comfortable with two small-scale suppliers, who usually offer the cheapest deals.
Joe Malinowski, from energy comparison website TheEnergyShop, says: & # 39; It's worth watching and possibly doing. The greater your use, the greater the benefits. However, you have to set that against the extra inconvenience of dealing with two smaller energy suppliers. & # 39;
For some, this will go a step too far, especially given the high number of failures by small suppliers in the past year.
The money-saving trick is also better for the & # 39; active & # 39; switch. Companies that switch automatically, such as Look After My Bills, Switchcraft and Weflip, usually provide & # 39; passive switchers & # 39; – those who want a better deal but want someone else to find it for them.
Watch out for the best service
The biggest concern for many people will not only be the price, but also the customer service.
Smaller suppliers that are more cost effective for individual fuel types may not be the best performers in managing accounts. Choosing two contracts can also mean that two different tariff periods are signed.
For example, the cheapest electricity delivery can be for a year, while the best gas deal is 18 months. This causes an annual loss of kilter.
Anyone determined to stay with a Big Six supplier – British Gas, SSE, EDF Energy, Scottish Power, npower or E.On – will on average be better at £ 76 if they stick to the cheapest dual fuel deal available is.
To compare rates that are specific to your use, you will receive a copy of your annual statement from your existing supplier.
This will help to produce more accurate results on websites such as TheEnergyShop or energyhelpline, which can also be reached on 0800 0740745.
But they usually shift customer accounts between dual-fuel rates for convenience and simplicity.
Andrew Long, from Switchcraft Switch Automation, says: “We currently only offer double-fueled deals, since it saves us from dealing with two suppliers and our mission is to make life easier. But there are a handful of small companies that only offer electricity or ordinary gas and if there is a rewarding saving to be made, we will add single fuel switching. & # 39;
WeFlip says that someone who wants to automatically switch to separate individual fuels needs two separate accounts for this.
Proactive switchers who like to do the laying work themselves and are looking for the very best deal – instead of just a better one – can use comparison websites to judge whether a bundled energy deal or suppliers with one fuel is the best. Most will see dual-fuel deals, as well as the cost of alternatives to a single fuel.
Malinowski adds: "Most of the savings – around 90 percent – are achieved by switching from a standard variable rate to a competitive dual fuel rate.
& # 39; Opting for individual gas and electricity suppliers is the icing on the cake, but you only get the last 10 percent. & # 39;
Each type of switch is likely to be of benefit to customers, even if this is not the maximum possible saving. New figures show that more than 600,000 households changed their energy suppliers last month – an increase of 29 percent compared to the same period last year – which shows that households are beginning to realize what savings are being offered.