VICTORIA BISCHOFF: Don’t waste energy switching
For years, Money Mail has urged readers to switch electricity providers on a regular basis.
It wasn’t the most glamorous savings tip, but if you stayed with your existing provider, you almost certainly have overpaid.
And the return on this simple, everyday job was lucrative as households saved hundreds of pounds a year. But for now, you should forget about all of this.
Stick with it: the energy crisis has led to an unprecedented rise in gas wholesale prices, so switching providers no longer makes sense
The energy crisis has resulted in an unprecedented rise in wholesale gas prices. And the market remains incredibly volatile as experts struggle to predict what will happen in the months ahead.
This means that suppliers, many of whom are threatened with extinction, simply are unable to offer competitive fixed offers.
Some comparison websites still operate an energy exchange service, but only a handful of tariffs are listed. And as we reported last week, some would cost the average household nearly Â£ 3,000 a year.
So for now, the best thing to do is to stay in place.
As you near the end of a firm contract, roll over to your supplier’s standard variable tariff.
These default deals are protected by the Energy Watcher’s price cap until April 2022 – Â£ 1,277 per year for the average gas and electricity consumer – and there are no exit fees, so you can switch whenever better deals come back.
For those who signed up for ultra-cheap deals a year or two ago, there’s no getting around your bills going up.
But if you sign a new fixed contract now, you could be burdened with even higher energy costs in the cold winter months.
To avoid confusion, Money Mail has temporarily removed all energy tariffs from our Best Buys tables.
But rest assured, we are closely following the market and will notify you as soon as something changes.
Speaking of soaring bills, a big thank you to everyone for their top tips on saving energy after publicly scolding my husband Chris last week.
Money Mail reader Molly Clark suggests leaving the oven open after cooking so as not to waste the heat, using candles for softer light, and discarding the dishwasher in favor of a good old-fashioned sink.
Another reader, Robert, goes a step further and washes his dishes in cold water.
A small squirt from a 29P bottle of diluted white vinegar along with a dash of dish soap on a small green scouring cloth used in circular motions will keep them squeaky clean, he assures me.
But what I loved most was Julie Priest’s suggestion for a refrigerator alarm that goes off if the door is left open.
Amazon has one with a repeated siren mode – and if that doesn’t teach Chris to shut it down, I don’t know what.
But at Â£ 21.99 I could stick with nagging for now.
Keep these tips!
Need for Netflix
It’s fascinating to see how our spending priorities have changed since the pandemic.
Take the popular streaming service Netflix. Once a luxury, a monthly subscription is now a must, according to a report released yesterday by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.
One retiree said that her partner’s quality of life would not be the same without her.
Another man from Wales said he did not realize the importance of eating out for “emotional wellbeing”.
But as the cost of living rises, experts fear that people could cut their retirement savings. With many already saving enough money for the lifestyle they desire in retirement, this could prove disastrous.
So, if you have money to spare at the end of the month, consider using it to help your future you have a better life.
That could be me…
Inspired by a colleague, I bought my first EuroMillions lottery ticket last Friday. It was a hefty Â£ 174 million jackpot rollover and I got lucky.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t win. But what fun it was for me to dream of what I would do with such a stroke of luck.
And with no one taking the prize, I figured it couldn’t hurt to play again on the record draw of Â£ 184million last night. Who knows, I might be a multimillionaire by reading this.
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