There are many factors to consider when you are looking for the best of the electricity companies. Most consumers will consider the tariff price to be the most important thing, but there are actually many factors that help determine whether the price you see is as good as it really looks.

As well as price, also consider whether the electricity companies you are comparing offer the payment methods and bill format that you require. If any companies offer incentives or bonuses for switching, then this too should be one of your primary considerations when choosing a supplier.

Available Tariffs

Different electricity companies offer different tariffs. As well as different unit prices you may also find that some companies offer different pricing structures. For example, an Economy 10 tariff is a variant of the more widespread Economy 7, but not all suppliers offer it. This means that you may have to shop around for this type of tariff, if it interests you.

Obviously, price is an important factor when you are considering moving electricity suppliers. The increased cost of energy means that, if you do not compare prices to get the best deal, it could be costing you a lot of money every month.

Customer Service

However, price isn’t the only factor you should consider. The high price of energy means that most consumers will have questions and queries at some point. It should be the responsibility of the energy company involved to answer these questions accurately and in a timely manner.

Customer service levels are critical to a good supplier/customer relationship. It can be difficult to judge a company’s customer service record, because all will state that they respond quickly and give pertinent information. You may want to consider asking friends and family, checking online reviews, and even digging into the number of complaints that the Citizen’s Advice and other groups have received about certain electricity companies.

Proposed Increases

Have a look in the news to determine which suppliers have promised increases in the near future. If you are going to opt for a variable rate fee, then it can make a big difference if you learn that one supplier is going to increase their price in the next few months, whereas another supplier is not.

Price rises are common so you should expect to see your energy costs increase in the relatively near future. By choosing the right supplier, you may be able to benefit from a long-term fixed fee, or from a variable rate that will not increase for at least a few months.

Billing Format and Payment Methods

Online tariffs require that you manage your account entirely online. You will not receive a paper invoice and, if you want your invoice in this format, then you should be looking at those suppliers which offer this particular type of invoice. Similarly, if you have specific payment methods that you prefer to use, other than direct debit, then look for tariffs from suppliers that offer this payment method. Most suppliers prefer direct debit payments, and will even offer a discount for customers that are willing to use this payment method.

Incentives and Bonuses

Different electricity suppliers offer access to different incentives and bonuses that are meant as a means to attract new customers.

These incentives and bonuses can make tariffs even more appealing. You may be able to receive a free energy consultation, some energy saving light bulbs, an energy monitor, or even some lagging for your boiler and the pipes in your house. There are other types of bonus and incentive that are available too.

Switching Electricity Companies

Once you have found the most desirable and beneficial tariff, you can make the switch to your new supplier. The actual switch itself is a simple process that will be completed quickly and without any interruption to your supply. In most cases, you will not even have to contact your old supplier because this will be done for you.

Your new supplier will usually ask for a meter reading and, as well as using this for their own billing records, they will provide it to your old supplier in order to initiate the switch and move you over to their network.

 Matt Jackson regularly writes about various electricity companies and the deals that are currently available.  He recommends uSwitch website for the most up to date information.

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