Make thinking about energy your new year’s resolution

Image of an electricity meter
Will looking at one of these a bit more often be your big resolution for 2015?
"Back in May, a report revealed that as many as 50% of households could be in credit with their electricity or gas suppliers"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Looking back on the year just gone, the big message delivered by regulators and consumer groups alike was that it was high time the households of Britain started to change how they thought about their energy supplier.

So, read on to learn why getting more involved with your day-to-day energy use could be the best new year’s resolution you make for 2015…

Better service

Every year, there seems to be another report painting the larger energy companies in an unfavourable light. In the annual energy satisfaction survey carried out by consumer organisation Which? the ‘big six’ are routinely routed by smaller suppliers when it comes to satisfaction. There’s every chance of it happening again in 2015.

So, if you’ve been shunted from call centre to call centre, got peculiar bills in the post or endured hold times that would test the patience of a saint, now could be the time to bid your energy provider a not-so-fond farewell.

Are you in credit?

Back in May, a survey revealed that as many as 50% of households could be in credit with their electricity or gas suppliers.

This is because customers who pay by direct debit pay a price based on their estimated annual usage, split over 12 months.

But if the estimated usage has been set too high, a large surplus can quickly build up, especially over the summer when consumption tends to be lighter.

Checking your meters regularly is the key to making sure you’re not overpaying.

Cheaper bills

It’s quick and easy to compare energy suppliers. All you need is your address, a recent bill or your estimated usage, and some information about the tariff you’re currently on.

Simply punch your information into’s energy price comparison service and take a look at the various deals available, from suppliers small and large.

With fixed-rate deals from companies including SSE, Scottish Power, Npower and EDF coming to an end on 31 December, now might be the perfect time to switch.

Community spirit

Some people have got so engaged with energy that they've decided to generate their own.

Take the example of the Halton Lune Hydro project in the north of England. The village’s community association set up a river turbine scheme to generate renewable power and raise money for good causes.

Community energy projects have been a big success, and we’ll probably be hearing a lot about them come May – Labour is currently considering making community energy projects part of its election manifesto. They’ve been a triumph in Germany, and we could be seeing more of them here sooner than you might think.

What will you be doing to get more involved with energy in 2015? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook