Why gas and electricity prices are rising – and how to protect yourself – The Telegraph

Some firms have clarified that they are not in financial trouble. The chief executive of Octopus Greg Jackson tweeted on Saturday that his firm was not one of the four mooted to be in financial difficulty. 

Mr Jackson said: “As a global, very well backed company, we’re fine but plenty more are not. There’s no glee in seeing other companies fail, which is why we’ve launched a special recruitment drive to help some of those losing their jobs in those companies.”

Green Energy UK also tweeted: “Just wanted to reassure all our customers that GE UK is NOT involved in any talks regarding bail outs and we have proactively hedged forwards to mitigate current market risks. Put simply, we are here to stay.”

Meanwhile, Peter McGirr, chief executive of Green, a different firm with a similar name, said energy firms were “on their knees”, and that they were “crying out” to the Government and the regulator for help, but this was falling on “deaf ears”. The firm has around 250,000 customers.

What are the best energy deals, and how can I save money?

Families face paying hundreds more on energy bills, but there are ways to cut your costs. While many of the best tariffs have been withdrawn from sale, there are still ways households cut their expenditure today and in the future.

Here’s four ways you can save money on your energy bills this year. 

1. Consider switching energy supplier

Around 15 million customers stuck on their supplier’s “standard variable tariff” are needlessly paying more for their energy than they need to. Providers move customers onto these tariffs once their fixed-rate deals come to an end, and they are usually accompanied by a rise in costs.  

Using a price comparison website can help you find a cheaper fixed-rate tariff which will lock your costs in for the length of the deal, often up to a year. 

It’s worth checking a few different sites however, as they do not all list the same deals. As we have seen in this energy crisis, the best deals can be withdrawn at any time.

Be careful switching if you own a first-generation smart meter. These older meters can run into problems if you move suppliers and may lose some of their functionality. The Government is in the process of remotely upgrading these meters but the majority are still at risk of going “dumb” if you switch. 

If you own a first-generation smart meter, check with your existing supplier whether it has been enrolled onto the national network before switching.

If you have a second-generation smart meter or a traditional meter then you are not at risk while switching. 

If you don’t want to have to change energy provider every time your fixed-rate deal comes to an end, services such as Look After My Bills or Flipper will automatically move you onto a cheaper rate as they become available. 

Some of these firms will charge a small annual fee for the service, while others will take a flat rate of commission from the suppliers. 

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