Should switching energy provider be your New Year's resolution?

Electricity meter
Get your energy spending down in 2014
"The New Year is a great time to look into switching but you can switch throughout the year" Jeremy Cryer, Gocompare.com
  • | by Emily Bater

What are your New Year's resolutions for 2014? Give up drinking or smoking, read more, or try to kick that nasty cake habit you've developed?

You might want to add sorting out your energy usage to that list - a new year is a new start, and there isn't a better time to look at those mounting bills with fresh eyes.

All the big six energy providers have now announced price rises, but Ofgem's banning of confusing bills along with changes to green taxes could mean that 2014 is the year for you to take action and save on gas and electricity.

Get empowered

That could mean moving away from the big six or even taking the leap and making your own energy, but it's important to get engaged with your energy provider and vote with your feet if you find a cheaper deal elsewhere.

Should I switch?

Switching is super easy - all you need to switch are your details and current energy consumption.

Put these details into Gocompare.com's gas and electric switching tool and pick the right tariff for you.

Switching should take you between 28 and 45 days, but you'll never be without gas and electricity. Changing providers won't usually cost you a fee, but some contracts may specify this so make sure you check your terms and conditions.

Should I fix?

While the time may have passed to get some of the best deals, fixing could still be a good way of protecting yourself from any future price rises.

Fixed rate tariffs see your gas and electricity rates frozen for a set period - usually 18 months to two years.

You won't see energy bills increase during this time but, on the other hand, you won't benefit from any possible reductions either.

Fixed rate tariffs may charge a fee if you wish to exit them, so make sure switching from these is worth your while after paying the fee.

Gocompare.com's energy expert Jeremy Cryer said: "The new year is a great time to look into switching, but you can switch throughout the year.

"People certainly don't have to put up with the big half dozen's antics. They may be the biggest but these six suppliers aren't necessarily the best, and they aren't the only choice open to consumers.

"There are more than 25 energy companies to choose from in the UK, so you should take the time to see if you can protect yourself against higher than necessary energy bills by comparing tariffs and finding those that suit your particular circumstances."