Esther Shaw

Evaluate your providers

By Esther Shaw 05/11/2014

Find out how you could save money by evaluating the providers of household utilities

Household bills through the letterbox are such a familiar sight that it’s easy to open, pay and file them away without giving them much thought. But if you would like to try and lower your outgoings, you may find that switching your gas, electricity, broadband and phone providers could shave hundreds of pounds off your bills.

Some of the biggest savings can be made on your energy costs, especially if you've never switched before. The trick is to go online to one of the many comparison sites, armed with your annual energy statement. Simply type in your personal details, how much you spend on your gas and electricity each year plus the tariff you're on and hey presto – you will be presented with a list of alternative tariffs, and details of the savings you can make by switching. Further savings can be made on your energy bills by moving to dual fuel (getting gas and electricity from the same supplier), opting to pay by direct debit, and managing your account online.

As well as utility bills, there are some big savings up for grabs by moving your broadband and phone to a new provider. Many of us are stuck on outdated packages and could save pounds by shopping around. If you're thinking about switching to a new internet deal, you might want to opt for a ‘bundle.’ This is where you get your broadband, home phone, pay TV – and potentially even your mobile – from the same company. Generous discounts often apply if you bundle all these services together.

But before you make any decision, ask yourself a few questions. Just how much do you as a household use your landline? What do you as a household use the internet for, and how much data do you use (to ensure you get a suitable download limit). Also think seriously about your current pay TV package, especially if it'[s a 'bells-and-whistles' one: are you making use of all those channels? Crucially, before moving to any new deal with a new provider, take a moment to check how long is left on your existing contract, as there may be exit charges to leave your current deal.

If you’re keen to give your finances the once-over and draw up a personal budgeting plan suited to your individual circumstances, why not try out our new Savings Calculator?

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.