It is important that people keep on top of all of their household bills. It is obviously essential that people prioritise their mortgage or rental payments each month, but after this, there are many essential bills that have to be paid. With many of these bills on the rise, it can be difficult for a lot of people to keep their head above water and stay on top of their comings and goings. This is why the news that an energy provider is set to raise their charges for the second time in a year will come as a blow for many people.
Ofgem, the energy regulator, have criticised EDF for their announcement that from the 21st of June 2017, electricity prices will rise by 9% and gas prices will increase by 5.5%. A contentious issue is the fact that the same supplier had increased their electricity prices on the 1st of March by 8.4%.
There is an acceptance that times are hard for people and businesses these days, and you can see why many businesses have to increase their prices in order to stay in a good position. However, there are some firms that people have sympathy for, and there are many firms where there is no sympathy, and energy providers don’t receive too much sympathy. These companies are huge and with many of them posting big profits and paying massive salaries to the people at the top of the company, the continual squeezing of customers doesn’t go down too well.
You don’t have to be loyal to an energy provider
Customers need to be aware that they don’t owe energy providers any loyalty. An energy provider is not a football team that you should stick with during the bad times and enjoy the good times, this is a company who provides you with a service. There are many other companies providing the same or similar service and if another firm can meet your energy needs at a better price or with less hassle or fuss, it is far better to go with them. You actually find that many energy suppliers are set up to provide bonuses or benefits for new customers but don’t make much of a move towards keeping existing customers.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t wise. There is a lot of research undertaken on the cost of acquiring new customers and the costs associated with retaining customers is much cheaper. Firms would actually do themselves a favour by rewarding the customers that stay with them in the long term but there is always a drive to bring new customers into the fold. This is why many companies, with banks, lenders and utility providers being great examples, offer an attractive opening rate that becomes less attractive or as welcoming as the years go by.
You can hurt these companies by switching accounts
If you are not happy with your energy provider, or you think that EDF are taking liberties with their position, the only stance you can take them that will really hurt them is to take your money elsewhere. Companies in the energy industry don’t really worry about tweeted complaints, lengthy letters or even protests, all they are concerned about is the money that comes into their accounts. If the money keeps coming in, they will keep behaving in the same way; as there is no incentive for them to change. There will be many people who stick with an energy provider through laziness, and that means these companies are often more than happy to treat customers poorly.
Anyone that finds themselves in a difficult financial situation due to a rise in energy bills, perhaps a change that they haven’t budgeted for, may need a helping hand. If people are struggling on a monthly basis, they need to make major changes in their life. However, if the shortfall is only for one month and the person is confident that they will bounce back okay next month, a guarantor loan could be the short term solution they need.
Energy bills are a regular source of discomfort and displeasure for people, so if you don’t like the money you pay on a monthly basis, you can take action. Always remember that you don’t owe energy providers loyalty, they are the people who should be working hard on your behalf.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.
June 5, 2017