Dual Fuel Deals: Navigating Your Gas & Electricity Purchasing Options

There are fuel supplier websites; there are comparison websites; and now there are meta-comparison websites, which compare the comparers. The business of choosing the right deal with the right fuel supplier or suppliers is complicated. There is a daunting amount of information available on the web, often seeming to make things even more complex than they need to be.Dual Fuel Deals - It's no joke

How much trouble you go to depends on how important it is for you to get the cheapest deal, and how much time you have to make sure you get it right. If you are time-rich and money-poor, then you may as well do your homework thoroughly: after all, there is nothing to lose and quite a bit to gain from making an informed choice.

Making Comparisons

Whatever aids you are using to help you make your choice, there are a few principles running through most recommendations and there is no reason you shouldn’t do your own comparisons as long as you bear those in mind. One such recurring theme is that dual fuel deals are nearly always the best value. The reasons for that are fairly obvious.

Suppliers want as much business from you as they can get, and they will be prepared to incentivise you to spend more with them, which you will be doing if you buy both gas and electricity from one supplier. So they are happy to provide a better deal to help attract that extra business.

Then there is also a convenience factor, both for the supplier and the customer, in one company supplying both gas and electricity. From the supplier’s point of view:

  • the amount of administrative work they will have to do is reduced
  • your contact and bank account details don’t need to be taken twice over
  • if one of your accounts runs into difficulties, the supplier will be alert to potential problems with the other one
  • they will be able to adjust direct debits between the accounts if, as often happens, one is set too high and the other too low.

Those advantages apply to the customer as well:

  • you only have one supplier whose contact details and website you need to access
  • if one of your accounts is in credit and the other in debit, you can get things sorted out between them with one phone call instead of two.

MoneySavingExpert.com

A good place to start looking for a deal is the website Moneysavingexpert.com, run by a consumer champion who has found his calling in helping people to think logically before entering into financial commitments, and to take nothing at face value. His approach is to demystify financial topics by applying common sense, and he has earned the respect of both the public and money advice professionals.

His website now has a useful service comparing deals and advising on the best one for you. There are quite a few of these programmes on the internet, but the advantage of the Moneysavingexpert.com version, called Cheap Energy Club, is that it will repeat the process regularly for you without prompting. It does this at monthly intervals, so that you do not get left behind should your agreement become less competitive. The website will contact you with a recommendation to switch if it identifies a better deal for you.

To take full advantage of the service supplied by consumer orientated switching sites, like the Moneysavingexpert one, you need to be armed initially with information about your current deal and your annual energy consumption. You should find a recent bill based on at least one actual reading, either by you or the supplier, rather than estimates. If you have an online account, you should be able to find old readings online, to work out annual usage.

Switching Sites
If you would rather use one of the actual switching websites, there are plenty to choose from. Many offer cash-back for switching suppliers through them. Another tip, though, is to double check whether a better cash-back offer is available from the supply company’s own website. That happens occasionally.

Like prices, cash-back offers tend to be better if you opt for a single supplier for both gas and electricity. Remember that the ongoing price of fuel and the cash-back bonus should both be used to make a fair comparison.

Also remember that dual fuel deals are likely to be the best, ideally combined with online, paperless billing features.

Sam Jones the author recommend http://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/guides/dual-fuel/ a comparison web page for dual fuel information, and where all the main providers can be compared.

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