Martin Lewis urges savers to take advantage of the Big 6 ‘price war’ – energy bill deals | Personal Finance | Finance
Martin Lewis, 48, has urged savers to take advantage of a “hidden Big Six energy firm’s price war” going on right now. The Money Saving Expert went on to break down tariff rules and how consumers could save hundreds of pounds on their bills.
Martin explained the “price war” is referred to as hidden is because the best tariffs offered by the big energy firms can only be found on comparison sites.
Additionally, they are only available to new customers, meaning customers will only see them if they switch.
As Martin detailed: “Just to put them in perspective, the standard tariff price cap for someone on direct debit with typical use is £1,042 a year.
“And we already know now, because of the way it’s worked out, it’s likely to go up to around £1,100 so you could probably end up paying more than that over the next year, if like most people you’re on a big six standard tariff.”
Given this evidence, Martin urged consumers to take action where they can: “So look, if you’re on one of those standard tariffs, the same firms, or similar firms are willing to offer it to you for far, far cheaper.
“Go for the cheapest on the market, but this is about those who say ‘I only want a name I know’, look there are the names you know, go and do a whole of market comparison.”
Heeding this advice could prove crucial in the coming months as new research from the Energy Saving Trust and Citizen’s Advice revealed consumers are struggling with their energy bills.
The research from the charities (which also included insight from Ofgem) showed that 50 percent of bill payers in the UK are concerned they will struggle to pay their energy bills this winter.
Additionally, 35 percent of bill payers in the UK say they are using more energy than they usually would at this time of year.
This could prove problematic for people’s finances, especially during a global pandemic.
Fortunately, it is still not too late to prepare for the coming winter and Citizens Advice, the Energy Saving Trust and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have launched a “Big Energy Saving Winter” campaign which aims to save people hundreds of pounds on their energy bills.
To do this, savers simply need to follow a check, switch and save process.
Courtesy of “Big Energy Saving Winter” the following tips have been recommended to reduce energy consumption and therefore lower bills:
- If you turn down your main thermostat by one degree, you can save around 10 percent on your energy bill. But make sure your home is warm enough during cold weather. Cold homes can damage your health. If everyone in Great Britain turned their thermostat down by one degree we could save 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year and would reduce energy bills by £670million.
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
- Draught-proofing windows and doors and blocking cracks in floor and skirting boards can save around £20 a year on energy bills.
- Get your timing right. As most of us continue to work from home, take advantage of having the commute time and set your heating to come on half an hour later. If you have a timer on your central heating, set it to come on only when required and if possible, install a smart meter which is estimated to help reduce a household’s electricity use by 2.8 percent and gas use by two percent.
- Layer up. As the temperature outside drops, find out those cosy jumpers and slippers and wrap up to stop you needing to turn up the heating.
- Turning your appliances off standby mode can save you £35 a year, and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily. If everyone in Great Britain did this we could save 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year and £730million off our energy bills.
- Turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again. This will save you around £15 a year on your energy bills.
- Replace your bulbs as and when you can with energy efficient LEDs – on average it could save about £40 a year on bills and if everyone changed their remaining bulbs to LEDs, Great Britain could save 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and £1.1billion from our collective energy bills.
- Check if you are eligible for discounts, grants or support as well as further tips for how to save carbon emissions from your home at bigenergysavingwinter.org.uk