When it comes to owning your very first property, there are so many different things you need to know about your home before you even move into it. Bills are one thing many people have no clue about until they move out of their family home and start their new chapter. To make your life that bit easier, we have compiled a first time buyers guide to energy.
First time buyers guide
When you first move into your new humble abode, you will already have an energy provider, most likely the one the previous owners chose to go with. If you start using the energy before you have sorted your bills out you do not have to worry too much, however, we would always recommend doing a few things when you very first move in.
When you get into your new property, you will need to:
Know where your meter is
Before you can do the next step you need to make sure you know where your meter is, this will enable you to give energy companies a strong meter reading rather than an estimated one. The meter is usually placed within your kitchen, in the hallway or you will have a meter box placed outside your home. If you cannot find it, we recommend asking the estate agent as they will normally have this information. You will want to provide the meter readings from the very first day you move into your new home.
Know where your trip switch is
There is nothing worse than moving into your new home to have a tripped switch and to have no idea where it is in the house. The trip switch is in your home so that whenever there is too much electricity going in, or a faulty appliance is being used, then it trips out to keep you safe. The trip switch can normally be located next to your fuse box, again if you are unable to locate contact your estate agent.
Take the time to research energy providers, make sure they know exactly what your energy consumption is going to be and determine whether they are offering fixed or variable pricing for their tariffs. If you haven’t changed providers or have simply stayed with the supplier, the previous owners had before without speaking to them. When your bill comes through you could witness a real hike in your energy costs as they will often charge you a rather expensive rate. The standard rate they charge could potentially cost you 20% more than some of the cheaper deals available.
We advise speaking to neighbours and seeing who they are with for their energy bills, if they are all with one specific company then this can often be a good indication on who you might want to consider going with.
Take the time to look through comparison sites such as uSwitch and Money Super Market. Each will allow you to put a number of metrics in to determine best who to go with and for what price. Alternatively, you could go directly to a number of energy providers asking for a quote. Here at Ampower, we have specialist analysts who will manage your account; they will ask how much energy you consume, how much you are looking to pay and when you are most likely to use energy. All of which is assessed and allows our teams to provide a more accurate quote.
When you are looking for a new energy provider as well as providing you with a reasonable price for your energy you should also be asking yourself a couple of questions:
- Does the plan provide you with any additional benefits?
- Can you come out of the plan if you choose to
- Is the plan flexible if you need to make any changes in the future
Before you decide to go with an energy supplier, you should always check to see how you can make your payment. If it is online or via direct debit, this is much easier and takes all the hassle out of you having to remember to pay for it. You do not have to be worried about whether you have made a payment nor do you have to worry about paying it on time. Another great thing about paying your bills this way means you can usually determine when your bill comes out of your bank, which means you can get it inline with when you get paid.
The price of your energy bills is going to be something that you will want to pay great attention to. When it comes to actually choosing your energy provider, you will need to make sure that you are paying solely for what you consume. If you are on a fixed plan, this will be a plan whereby your energy prices do not increase each month and remain the same throughout your quoted time period. This is typically the best type of plan if you want freedom on the way you consume and when you consume your energy.
The reason this is commonly known as the best type of plan is that your energy bills will become more stable which enables you to keep track of all payments easily. An additional benefit of having a fixed rate tariff means that if energy prices are to rise during your contracted period, you will not be affected by it.
Why follow this guide
When you move into a new home it can all be a little overwhelming; there is a lot you have to get sorted before you move in and energy is probably not the first thing on your mind. When it comes to actually getting into your new property you energy prices can be one thing that will shock you if it is not sorted in time. The reason for it being so important to get your energy plans sorted is you could be charged an additional 20% on top of what you may normally pay as energy providers will initially place you on a standard tariff fee which is usually way over the price you pay for your consumption.
Take the time to do your research, do not feel as though you have to go with the first energy provider you see. Speak to neighbours, friends and families; shop around and ensure you receive a fair few quotes as you could get yourself an excellent deal on electricity plans for homes.