We have all heard that if you are unsatisfied with your current electricity provider, the best way of finding a cheap electric provider is to switch. Switching energy providers is a great way to make sure you are getting the best rate possible on your energy, and while the process is usually fairly straightforward, problems can occasionally arise. The key, however, is not to let the occasional mishap prevent you from getting the lowest rate you are entitled to for your electricity. By knowing what to look out for when switching energy providers, you will have a much better chance of experiencing a smooth and seamless transition. Below we will discuss the most common problems consumers run into when switching providers, and with this new information you will be able to avoid many of these problems during your own energy switch.
Use A Reputable Switching Site
Many sites offer to compare all the energy suppliers available in your area, thereby showing you which one will give you the best deal on your energy needs. Most of these sites can even do the switching process for you. Beware, however, that not all switching sites are created equal. While most are reputable, there are a few that may give misleading information either because they have calculated your energy needs incorrectly, or they are biased towards a particular energy company. Use only sites that are reputable and independent, that way you have the best chance of being quoted a fair price.
Your Bill Is Higher Than Was Promised
Occasionally, consumers complain that after they have switched to a new energy provider, they end up being charged more than they were promised. A number of reasons may be behind this, and though it is possible your energy supplier has made a mistake, don’t jump to any conclusions beforehand. Your best course of action is to call up your new energy supplier and ask them about the rate. Most of these suppliers will be more than willing to remedy the problem. After all, mistakes do happen, but they will only get fixed if you tell somebody about them. Furthermore, another reason you may be paying more than you were originally quoted is because you are possibly being served by an Independent Gas Transporter (IGT). An IGT is responsible for transporting the gas to your home, and they are independent from the National Grid system. An IGT is most common on newer properties, as they tend to save developers money during construction. Unfortunately, they also tend to increase electricity and gas prices for consumers. When you do an energy supplier comparison on the web, that comparison site has no way of knowing if you are supplied by an IGT, thus it assumes you are not (as IGTs are far less extensive than the National Grid). Therefore, if you are with an IGT, your bill will likely be higher than the original quote.
Getting Your Credit Refunded
If you are in credit with your old energy supplier, then you have a right to have that money restored to you. For some people, however, this is easier said than done. Long delays can occur in restoring your money, and your best bet is to call up your old energy supplier to find out what is going on. Many of these companies will want an accurate meter reading done before they return your credit so they can be assured that you have actually given them all that is owed. Furthermore, it is important to know that most accounting departments in energy companies run on a 90-day turnaround, meaning that it may take up to three months before your money is restored to you. Just be patient and the money will be returned eventually.
It is true that occasionally people run into problems when trying to switch from their current provider to a cheap electric supplier. The truth is, though, that most people make the switch without any hassles whatsoever. The point of the above information is not to scare you off from making the switch, but to make sure you are well informed about problems should they arise. By knowing what these problems are beforehand, you have a better chance of being able to handle such problems easily in the unlikely case that you would need to.
Laura Ginn appreciates that the safest way to compare your energy prices is to understand exactly what you have been billed for. uSwitch compares gas and electricity prices and rates making your hunt for the best cheap electric company even easier.