Paying energy bills is intimidating for many householders, and energy suppliers can often pressure customers into compensating inflated tariff prices every month.
Whether you’re a new homeowner, live in a shared property or struggle to fund your monthly allowance – there are a number of prudent ways to reduce the sum of your utility bills whilst retaining a manageable tariff.
When and how payments land is crucial to finances, with monthly direct debits and online billing viewed as the cheapest form of payment over quarterly cash or cheque methods – over and above pre-payment meters.
Direct debit payments can be paid as either variable or fixed costs. When establishing a variable payment scheme with your energy supplier, your household will pay for the exact figure of energy utilized.
Of course, flexibility will be key as more energy will be used in the winter months. However, the billing strategy can be effective in saving cash as monthly meter readings will stop any overcharging from your service provider.
In contrast, a fixed monthly direct debit entails an estimated payment figure made by the energy supplier to coincide with your chosen tariff. These schemes are said to be offered with discounts, however there is no getting away from overpaying in the summer months.
Similar to direct debit payments, paperless billing comes with less financial costs to your energy supplier – thus decreasing your monthly utility bill costs as a result.
On top of seeing your energy costs depreciate, using mobile billing can benefit your timekeeping. Via SMS text or email, companies will contact customers to remind them when bills will arrive, alongside their cost to avoid any late payments.
These online systems not only quicker than traditional cash or cheque payments, but more secure. Payment information is strictly protected via mobile billing – and also means endless shreddings in the office will disappear!
Working in the same way as pay-as-you-go mobile contracts, pre-payment meters are an effective way for smaller-income homes to maintain utility allowances.
Whether using a payment card or key, users can simply top their tariff up before using their gas or electricity throughout the house – meaning consumers can again use only the utilities they need per month.
Local newsagents, fuel garages and Post Office locations are all hubs that allow customers finance their pre-payment meters, although these top-ups often come with charges from your energy supplier.
A prompt payment scheme allows energy consumers to fund their bill by cash or cheque – receiving a discount from their operator by paying within a set period of time.
Although the discounts will inevitably vary from supplier to supplier, the payment method can be vastly effective for well-organized customers as a consistently maintained decrease in prices can be founded.
Payment code schemes are also now coming into play, with companies such as PayPal allowing consumers to pay for bills using QR codes – an aspect we may soon see in the billing of utility supplies.