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Brits 'Should Reduce Utility Bill Pressures'

Mar 2, 2008
Homeowners need to be proactive in reducing pressures on their finances, an industry expert has reported.

According to Georgina Walsh, spokesperson for energywatch, following a series of price increases by major utilities providers now is an ideal time for homeowners to take steps in offsetting any additional strain on their spending. She claimed that moving supplier is "always a good idea", particularly for those who have never done so, as they may be set to secure the more competitive offers that companies advertise in an attempt to attract new custom.

Should homeowners face an increase in the cost of their energy bills, it is possible that they may encounter problems meeting other sources of financial demand. Such areas may include, for example, loans, credit cards and transport costs.

The energywatch expert also reported that those opting for an supplier which was not formed in their local area may be able to save money. As an example, she pointed out that those consumers who are living in London and have not switched may find that their original supplier was London Electricity - which is now a part of EDF Energy. Ms Walsh claimed that such people may see their energy bills be higher than for EDF customers living in other parts of the country. By moving provider, the representative pointed out that homeowners can "probably save at least 100 pounds", even if they remain on the same tariff. However, by moving to a different type of payment plan, it was suggested consumers could generate even more savings.

She said: "Your next biggest saving will be altering the way you pay - instead of getting your gas and electricity separately, go to one company for dual fuel, in other words gas and electricity from the same company. That will work out cheaper. An online deal will work out cheaper; direct debit, on the whole, will work out cheaper than paying quarterly; all these things we need to flag up ... You can't afford to be passive now. Combined [household] bills for gas and electricity average more than 1,000 pounds per year now."

Ms Walsh stated that if Britons were more proactive in changing energy supplier then companies would have greater incentive to offer competitive price plans. At the moment, she asserted, many firms do not have cost-effective deals as a result of "customer inertia", with only about half of consumers switching providers.

Her comments come as E.ON recently became the fifth of the six largest energy providers in Britain to raise its prices over the course of 2008, following suit with the likes of EDF Energy, British Gas, npower and Scottish Power who have all increased their costs by at least ten per cent.

Homeowners who are particularly worried that rising utility bill costs will put unmanageable strains on their finance, however, may wish to apply for a low cost consolidation loan. In taking out this type of loan, consumers may be able to merge numerous financial demands into a single low-rate monthly repayment. A cheap consolidation loan might be helpful for an increasing number of Britons, after a recent Chiltern study has showed the average consumer looking for help with their money management is some 26,344 pounds in the red.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for Loan-Arrangers .co.uk where visitors can compare UK loans online. Then apply for the best low cost loans and cheap bad credit loans available.
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