Gas and electricity are, for many of us, the most substantial bills that we have alongside things like mortgage or rent and food. It is easy to understand with electricity because most of the appliances we use run on electricity from the cooker to the fridge to the TV and even the lighting. But there might be more ambiguity in a huge gas bill. So, what do you do with a big gas bill, and why might you have had one?
Say no to estimated bills
Estimated bills are one of the main reasons you may find that you are paying more than you should for your gas and electricity supplies. If you haven’t sent your utility provider a meter reading for a while, they will use an estimated figure, which might be unreliable. Look at the bill to see if the number on the meter corresponds to the number they used. If not, take a meter reading and go back to your supplier.
Check for price changes
Another usual reason we get caught up with a big gas bill is that the distributor adjusted their rates, and we didn’t anticipate that this would affect the bill. They will usually inform you if the rate they charge is changing, but that depends on your contract specifics. Your contract might even have ended, and they have switched you to a regular, flexible contract with different rates. Look at the electricity cost on your bill, which is called a ‘unit rate’ per kilowatt (kW). Compare it to the last, and if it is more, their prices have risen. You might also want to contact the company to find out what rate you are on.
Take control over your heating
For many homes, the main or only use of gas in the property is to fuel the boiler, which means by regulating your heating, you can save some money. A great way to do this is with a smart thermostat. These are different from a smart meter, which sends the readings directly to your provider from your meter. Instead, these allow you to have more control over your heating, and make sure that you only use it when you need it, saving you money. If you are regularly heating water for baths, you might want to do your research into the most efficient and best gas hot water heater.
If the bill is right and you used that amount of gas, you obviously have to pay for it. You may be able to adjust your monthly payments to spread the cost. So, contact your supplier to find out whether this is something you can do. It is also an excellent opportunity to browse around after you have paid the bill to make sure you can get the best price. With the latest consumption statistics, you will get a detailed comparison from different suppliers from your last statement, and see if anyone provides a better price. Switching is fast and can be done online or over the phone.