Top up

Am in the middle of switching to bulb but have been warned it’s costing people more than British gas and they are having to top up a lot more has anyone else found this as need to save money not spend more. The standing charges seem to be a lot more then I pay at moments unsure if to cancel switch

Am in the middle of switching to bulb but have been warned it's costing people more than British gas and they are having to top up a lot more has anyone else found this as need to save money not spend more.

My bills are exactly as I expect them to be based on my metered usage and the specified unit rates and standing charges.

The standing charges seem to be a lot more then I pay at moments unsure if to cancel switch

You’re absolutely correct to look at the actual tariff information, in terms of unit rate (pence per kWh) and standing charge (pence per day), as opposed to relying on an estimate of what your monthly direct debit payment might be. Tariffs with energy suppliers generally fit within two categories, which are “higher unit rate with lower standing charge” and “lower unit rate with higher standing charge”. Which is best for you depends on your typical usage, and the best way to run the numbers and work this out is to use a comparison site. If you enter your actual usage in kWh for the previous 12 months you will get a reasonable estimate of costs for the next 12 months. You should be able to get your last 12 months of usage from your latest energy bill.

One thing you also need to bear in mind is that even when you switch you might not end up saving money! When the cost of energy is always going up, and you’re possibly coming to the end of a fixed rate, the chances are you wont find anything cheaper from any supplier than what you’ve been paying. In a rising market the game is to minimise the increase, rather than make an absolute saving.

If a comparison site using your actual previous 12 months usage says that Bulb are cheaper than whatever British Gas can offer you right now, then you’ll be better off to switch to Bulb. Remember Bulb is a variable tariff so could go up or down at any time. If the tariff goes up you will get 60 days notice and there are no exit fees, so you’ve got more than enough time to switch again. When the tariff goes down it is done immediately. Bulb had a big increase in tariff last November, along with many other suppliers, so it’s unlikely to go up again this year. If anything it will be coming down a little over the next few months.

If Bulb were the cheapest option for you when you started your switch, they’re probably still the cheapest. If in any doubt, sign up to (and stick your annual energy usage figures into) MoneySavingExpert.com’s Cheap Energy Club to see who’s cheapest: