How to get the most from your utilities provider

Spark Energy money saving tariff'sNo one gets excited about receiving energy bills but it needn’t always be something to fret over if you’re getting the most from your supplier.

There are many ways to drive down prices if you take advantage of the full range of services offered, keeping up communication and comparing tariffs.

Direct debit and paperless billing

Almost all suppliers offer discounts to customers who pay their bills by monthly direct debits.

Additionally, paperless billing can also help to push down costs. Bills will be sent electronically, via email rather than through the post.

This not only helps the environment, but also gives customers more flexibility over their account as it can be managed online – keeping suppliers up to date with information and avoiding call waiting times for telephone based customer services.

Spark offers Direct Debit Saver and Direct Debit Advance (which has paperless billing).

Providing regular meter readings

While most energy companies will try and take meter readings from their customers, they are occasionally unable to gain access to properties instead having to rely upon estimated readings based on average usage, which could lead to some customers paying too much.

We’d advise all account holders to read their meters regularly and providing these figures to their supplier. This will keep bills accurate and also allow households to monitor usage and adapt accordingly.

One a month is ideal. The alternative is that the energy company needs to estimate your usage based on previous consumption at that property which might not represent your usage.

Request a smart meter

Smart meters are the next generation of household energy management tools. They track usage in real time, letting users see how much their bills are on a day by day basis.

Digital displays can present this data to customers, converting it into monetary values and enabling householders to calculate peak-supply periods and easily track the effectiveness of any energy saving initiatives.

Spark’s new smart meter technology will become available later in 2014.

Compare suppliers and tariffs

Switching suppliers can be an excellent way to slash energy bills. Gas and electricity independent regulator, Ofgem estimates customers who switch could potentially save up to £100 a year.

Online comparison sites are a quick and easy way to survey the market, finding the best deals and tariffs.

Speaking to your current supplier and asking about different tariffs can also help to save money, switching to the most suitable tariff for your usage. Spark currently offers the cheapest Dual Fuel tariff available in the UK market.

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