Gas, electricity, or both? how to compare dual-fuel plans and save big

When it comes to managing home energy costs, many consumers consider combining their gas and electricity services into a single, dual-fuel plan. Dual-fuel plans can offer convenience and potential savings, but knowing how to compare these plans to ensure you’re truly getting the best deal is key. This guide will walk you through the steps to effectively compare dual-fuel plans and to capitalise on the savings they might offer.

1. Understand dual-fuel plans

Before diving into comparisons using well-known platforms like Electricity Wizard, it’s important to understand what dual-fuel plans are and how they work.

Definition—a dual-fuel plan is an energy supply option where you receive both gas and electricity from the same provider under a single contract.

Benefits—these plans often come with discounts, easier account management, and simplified billing processes.

Considerations—while dual-fuel can be convenient, it’s not always the cheapest option, so comparing deals is crucial.

2. Assess your energy needs

A clear understanding of your household’s energy consumption will help you choose the right plan.

Review past usage—look at your previous utility bills to gauge how much gas and electricity you typically use.

Evaluate energy patterns—consider seasonal changes in your energy use, such as increased heating in winter or cooling in summer.

Future changes—think about any upcoming changes that might affect your usage, like energy-efficient home improvements or additional household members.

3. Shop around for providers

Don’t settle for the first deal you see. Exploring multiple providers can lead to better savings.

Multiple quotes—get quotes from several energy suppliers to compare rates and services.

Check for local providers—sometimes, local energy companies offer competitive rates that big national firms can’t beat.

Online comparisons—use reputable comparison websites to get a broader view of the market and find exclusive deals.

4. Compare pricing structures

Understanding the pricing structure of dual-fuel plans is crucial to ensuring you get a good deal.

Fixed vs. variable rates—decide whether you prefer the stability of fixed rates or the potential savings from variable rates.

Discounts and offers—look for sign-up bonuses, loyalty discounts, or other incentives that can reduce costs.

Exit fees—be wary of plans with high exit fees that could lock you in longer than you might wish.

5. Read customer reviews and service ratings

The quality of customer service can impact your overall satisfaction with an energy provider.

Customer feedback—check online reviews and ratings to gauge customer satisfaction and service quality.

Response times—consider how quickly the company responds to inquiries and resolves issues.

Extra services—some companies offer additional services like energy audits, which can help you further reduce your energy consumption.

6. Analyse the total cost impact

Look beyond the advertised rate to understand the total cost of a dual-fuel plan.

Annual costs—calculate the estimated annual costs of plans based on your typical energy usage.

Hidden fees—identify any additional charges, such as service fees or special metering costs, that could affect your bills.

Payment options—some plans might offer discounts for direct debit payments or penalties for late payments.

7. Negotiate with providers

Armed with your research, you’re in a stronger position to negotiate a better deal.

Leverage competitor offers—use quotes from competitors as leverage to negotiate lower rates.

Ask for better terms—request modifications to the contract terms to better suit your needs.

Promotional periods—if signing up during a promotional period, ensure you understand what happens when the promotion ends.

8. Regularly review your plan

Energy needs can evolve, so regularly reviewing your plan ensures it still fits your requirements.

Annual check-ups—make it a practice to review your energy plan each year.

Stay informed on market changes—keep up with changes in the energy sector that might affect prices and offers.

Be ready to switch—don’t hesitate to switch providers if another plan becomes more advantageous.

Save on your energy bills

Comparing dual-fuel plans requires careful consideration of your energy needs, an understanding of the market, and a willingness to delve into the details of each plan. By taking the time to thoroughly compare options and negotiate terms, you can potentially save significantly on your energy bills. Remember, the right dual-fuel plan should offer not just cost savings but also enhance convenience and service quality, making your energy management both efficient and cost-effective.

This structured approach will guide you through selecting a dual-fuel plan that not only meets your energy requirements but also offers tangible savings and benefits.