Our 4 top tips to help you with your energy prices
The energy market is facing dramatic price surges, with gas having increased by 300% and electricity by 100% in August 2021, compared to the same time last year (see Table 1). The challenges faced by the energy companies will inevitably have a knock-on effect on their customers, with many schools across the UK expecting to see a spike in their energy bills. These changes were expected to come into effect starting 1st of October.
The price cap for energy bills is set to increase by at least £139, which can be quite daunting if you’re on a tight budget and don’t have much money to spare. The good new is, if you’re with a failed supplier, then the supplier you’re moved to cannot charge you more than your original price cap. This is through a government scheme to protect customers from sudden price surges.
The price cap increase won’t apply to you if you:
- are on a fixed-term energy tariff
- have chosen a standard variable green energy tariff Ofgem has exempted from the cap
We strongly recommend checking with your supplier to see if either of these apply to you. If you are on their default tariff, you could already be paying a good energy rate. However, it is worth checking, this way you can see if switching supplier could reduce your energy cost.
With these changes expected to start from October 1st, being up-to-date and organised with your energy bills can save you from a lot of stress.
Table 1 – Energy wholesale market prices for August 2020 – August 2021
The blue line represents the day ahead price, while the green line shows the 12-month average
Considering the current climate, Education Buying’s energy specialists have prepared some tips to help you safeguard your school’s energy costs:
1. Don’t change your current gas contract
Unless it’s expiring soon. This will ensure that you will have stable prices for the rest of your remaining contract. If you would still like to change suppliers we recommend that you wait 6 months, as experts are expecting to see a price stabilisation in March 2022.
2. Claim your account credit
By doing this, you will avoid being stuck in a complicated process if your current supplier stops trading. Claiming credit for commercial customers usually takes a longer time than it takes with domestic customers.
3. 1-year contracts are safer
If you’re current contract is expiring. By signing up to a shorter term contract, you will be able to re-assess your options more quickly and potentially save money in the long term. If you need help with finding the right supplier, get in touch with us, and we’d be happy to help.
4. Don't be alarmed
If your current supplier stops trading. Ofgem, the energy regulator, will move your account to a new supplier, to ensure your school’s supply isn’t disrupted. The process can take up to 8 weeks, after which your new supplier should contact you with details regarding your new account. While you wait, we recommend that you download any bills and take a photo of your meter reading.
With the energy market changing daily, please contact us here for updated advice and guidance on energy contracts.