The gas and electricity supplier should be chosen with care and attention. The cost of the bill can fluctuate and consequently weigh heavily on our pockets. Let’s see how to choose your manager carefully!
The process of liberalization of the energy market has sanctioned the end of monopolistic management of the sector, paving the way for the free competition from domestic energy suppliers. In this context, the choice of the electricity and gas operator becomes crucial for the creation of an energy plan that is advantageous for the user, on which the responsibility for evaluating the different tariffs proposed by the players now falls. Your energy supplier must be a reliable partner, able to meet customer needs in a personalized way: widespread information and knowledge of the main selection criteria are fundamental tools for this choice. In this article, we will provide some guidelines you can rely on in your decision-making.
How to choose your supplier?
The range for choosing the home energy supplier has expanded incredibly to evaluate every opportunity presented to them with criteria. At the same time, to avoid scams and fraudulent offers, users will be required to scrutinize various characteristics. You can compare business energy through in online platforms now and get the best results out.
Among the tools available online that can guide the customer, the website of the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks, and Environment (energy comparer), a public body indifferent to the commercial constraints of the various players, plays a role of undoubted importance for rate comparison. After uploading your zip code and some energy data, the site provides a selection of valuable indicators to refine your search. Among these, for example, we find:
- preference for a fixed price for each time slot or subject to fluctuations
- the power used and the annual energy consumption
- preference of a fixed or variable price
Based on the information entered, energy comparer filters the offers, presenting to the user only the players. They possess the indicated requirements, together with an annual estimate of the amount requested by each one. In this way, the customer is guaranteed a critical tool to orient himself with awareness in the mare magnum of the free energy market. However, not all offers indicated by energy comparers can be activated online, and in some cases, they are not easily found on the suppliers’ websites.
Given the usefulness of energy comparer, therefore, it is of primary importance that the user is in any case well prepared on the criteria for selecting suppliers. Let’s see what the main factors to take into account are:
The cost of the kWh:
The type of tariff chosen is one of the first things to be subjected to an accurate assessment. But it is necessary to be aware that other costs make up the totality of the energy expenditure in the bill, to name a couple: the costs for the transport and management of the meter and the system charges. These costs are the same for all suppliers and are therefore not subject to competition. As you can compare business energy, you can find the correct rate in this.
The efficiency of the customer service:
The promptness of the assistance and the customer care of the supplier are certain factors to be taken into consideration. The lack of understanding of the bureaucracy of the energy sector, in fact, is one of the main causes that lead customers to be scammed and that, at the same time, discourage the search for offers more suited to their needs. Having a direct communication channel with trained and available operators is one of the most appreciated qualities in domestic energy suppliers: making sure of the presence of a free call center, an online chat, an area reserved for the customer in the app or at least on the site web or a toll-free number to contact is imperative for the customer looking for a new manager.
They offer transparency:
Ensure the reliability of the provider can be helpful to avoid falling into traps often very appealing. Therefore, simple and clear offers are to be preferred, mainly if supported by good feedback in online reviews; on the other hand, it is a good idea to be wary of promotional rates, which often offer savings in the short term to ensnare the customer, however risking becoming more and more burdensome after a short time.
The payment methods offered:
According to their needs, the user can select the players according to the available methods to pay the invoices. For example, in recent years, digital suppliers have been enjoying great success, allowing bills to be paid online. On the other hand, if the customer is not familiar with the web, his choice will be oriented towards suppliers offering analog payment methods. In conclusion, attention to the environment could be added alongside these main evaluation criteria.
Better single or three-hour rate?
Understanding the various offers that have proliferated following market liberalization is the first step towards an informed choice. For instance:
The single-hour rate implies a single and constant price for all hours of the day; it undoubtedly boasts the simplest payment management, but it can be inconvenient for users who stay away from home for a long time during the day.
The recently introduced three-hour tariff divides the day into time bands of cost in order to facilitate customers who use the supply only at certain times of the day, such as companies or offices.
The convenience of the two tariffs is undoubtedly influenced by the lifestyle led by the owner of the supply service: in the event that, for example, electricity is used more frequently in the evening and on weekends, the three-hour tariff will certainly have greater benefits; on the contrary, in the event that the electricity is kept at full capacity throughout the day, the first option could be a little more convenient. However, in cases of low domestic consumption, for example, below 3000 kWh / year, the difference between the two types of tariffs in terms of annual expenditure is relatively modest.
Who to pay attention to when choosing a supplier?
There are frequent risks of running into scams or opaque offers in the supplier selection process. However, it is possible to protect yourself from this possibility with some precautions:
By probing the efficiency of call centers, it is possible to get an idea of the company’s availability,
By testing the preparation of the door-to-door sellers, not letting their offers entangle oneself, it can be helpful to verify the efficiency of the service,
The monitoring of the company’s online reviews, especially those left by users who request technical information, such as on their counter or on their bills, allows us to ascertain the clarity of the procedures.
Finally, it is essential to remember that, if you are about to change supplier, it is advisable:
Avoid providing sensitive data or personal information if you are not convinced to complete the subscription;
Opt for players who do not insert constraints, i.e., activation or withdrawal costs or security deposit. In this way, the user is free to check whether or not the service offered by the electricity and gas supplier reflects the expected standards before signing the contract.
On the basis of these guidelines, the user is able to orient himself in the energy offer of the energy market: remember, however, that the natural choice can only change from customer to customer, in correspondence with his particular habits and of its consumption.