It’s quite common to be advised to switch utility providers nowadays.
Many financial advice specialists will tell you that shopping around for the lowest costs on your fuel bills can be a useful and quick way of saving money on essential costs such as your gas and electricity supplies.
Many people have already done this successfully once and others do it on a regular basis to take advantage of the best rates and deals. After all, switching is a relatively simple process. Your new utility company will do most of the work for you and all you technically have to do is to tell your old supplier and supply them with relevant meter readings. You can then take advantage of lower rates with your new supplier.
A lot of people are now also looking at using utility supplier switching as an option to help them out when they get into trouble with their bill payments. This is happening to a lot of UK consumers – after all, the costs of gas and electricity have sky rocketed over the last couple of years. This has left a lot of people with problems paying for these essential services, many of whom now owe arrears on their bills.
- It would seem a simple solution to simply switch suppliers in this situation to take advantage of lower costs. This would, on paper, help you to better manage what you owe kind of like taking out a consolidation loan. The problem is that you will not generally be allowed to switch suppliers if you do have arrears or are known to have problems paying your bills on time.
Utility companies, like any other financial company, want to deal with customers who pay their bills on time and in full. They don’t actually want to deal with people who may run up large debts and it is unlikely that a new supplier will take you on if you have significant arrears owing to another company.
And, your existing supplier may veto a switching move here until you clear your account. They may not mind so much if you remain a customer but they won’t want to let you go owing them money. They need to do what they can to hang on to your custom until they get back what you owe them. So, in certain cases this may mean that you cannot switch at all.
You can, however, still benefit from the cheaper costs that may be on offer if you switch suppliers in this sector. But, you will most likely need to clear any arrears that you have before you can do so. If you are having problems with arrears then it is recommended that you make moves to pay them off either by agreeing a repayment schedule with your provider or by making moves to borrow the money elsewhere as a consolidation loan, for example.
Finally, do remember that if you are having problems with arrears on your utility bills that you should do something about it as soon as you can. If you aren’t seen to be making efforts to repay what you owe then your utility company could take action to get their money back.