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Switch your Gran! Help older friends & relatives save £100s on energy

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It's a national outrage many older people with lower incomes and the greatest need for warm homes pay the most for their energy. Many silver surfers look after themselves, but if you've a gran, gramps, uncle, aunt, or old chap over the road, who isn't so web-savvy, why not give them a hand? Here's how...

Please note: We're assuming that if you're reading this, you're online and want to help your gran offline - so throughout we use 'them' instead of 'you'.

Switching is no biggie - help them compare

Fear of change is often a big inhibitor. Yet even those reticent to switch can still often cut bills just by switching tariffs with their existing firm. Though if your cheapest is another firm, then it's the same gas, the same electricity, the same pipes and the same safety. The only real change is the price, and who you call.

For the most accurate comparison, you should have their bills in front of you, so you've got exact usage figures. But it can be done without them, based on estimates of house size.

Our FREE Cheap Energy Club's designed to make it easy

Everyone's cheapest depends on their usage & postcode. Our Cheap Energy Club uses (we hope) plain English to help find your cheapest deal and guide you through the switching process, usually giving £30 dual-fuel cashback if it can switch you.

After that, uniquely, it monitors the tariff to check it's still cheap and tells you once it isn't.

We've been swamped with positive feedback, such as:

Watched the video on the website, saved £160. #boom #evenlazyblokescansavemoney.

Registered and used your Cheap Energy Club. Managed to switch to a fixed-until-2014 deal and saved £85/yr! On top, the deal promises £70 cashback after three months, making my fixed deal less than the cheapest variable deal.

I could not be more pleased. Thank you for creating a clear & easy-to-use comparison. Looking forward to receiving emails if/when I can save more!

Try it, and let us know what you think at energyclub@moneysavingexpert.com.

Fix prices for long-term surety

Right now, some of the cheapest energy deals are fixed tariffs, which lock in the rate you pay for a set time. They offer protection against price hikes, at a time when costs are shooting up.

Five of the big six energy suppliers - EDF, SSE, British Gas, Scottish Power and Npower - have recently raised prices. E.on hikes on 18 January.

For someone who'll change rarely, a fix gives peace of mind of a locked-in rate for up to four years. Just make sure it has no exit penalties, so if politicians do deliver their holy grail of lower bills, you can escape.

Our Top Pick Fixes Comparison via Energy Club runs through your bespoke top deals.

Do it by phone if web's a bother

If online's a no-go, here are our top pick comparison sites which let you switch over the phone. Some offer cashback or freebies when you mention MSE over the phone too.

Energyhelpline*, pays £15 (once) per switch, whether separate gas & electricity or dual fuel.
Call:
0800 074 0745 (mention MSE to get cashback).
Cashback:
Sent by BACS or post, so no web access needed.

For a dual fuel switch, which means getting gas and electricity from the same provider, you can get bigger freebies (one per household). Don't assume dual fuel is always cheapest. Check whether getting separate gas & electricity can undercut it.

MoneySupermarket* pays £30 cashback for a dual fuel switch.
Call:
0800 177 7861 (mention MSE to get cashback).
Cashback: Sent by post, so no web access needed.

uSwitch* sends out a crate of wine (worth around £40) for a dual fuel switch online.
Call: 0800 404 7895 (no wine if switching by phone).
Wine: They'll need to go online to redeem the offer.

UK Power* pays £30 cashback for a dual fuel switch.
Call: 0800 320 2000 (mention MSE to get cashback).
Cashback: Sent by BACS.

Check the tariff's offline too

Some energy tariffs are labelled ‘online tariffs’. Despite the name, you can actually often access them offline. If your gran is offline, check when you do the comparison if you can get bills posted and give meter readings over the phone.

If it's an online tariff, most suppliers require an email address to create an account. If your 'gran' doesn’t have one, get a free Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo! account.

They can either access bills themselves with your help, or you can monitor and print it out for them. You may need to do this for every quarterly bill (four per year) so if they absolutely can't go online, consider this commitment.

The table below shows our top pick tariffs and which can be managed offline.

Can you access online tariffs offline?
Tariff name Fixed until Free paper billing? Free account notifications Meter readings by phone? Available by phone?
Npower Price Protector* 31 Dec 2017
Yes
Via post or email
Yes
Yes
EDF Blue+ Price Freeeeze* 31 Mar 2017
Yes
Via post or email
Yes
Yes
Npower Price Fix* 31 Aug 2015
Yes
Via post or email
Yes
Yes
Co-op Energy* 31 Jul 2015
Yes
Via post or email
Yes
Yes
EDF Blue+ Price Promise* 30 Apr 2015
Yes
Via post or email
Yes
Yes
British Gas Fixed Price March 2016 Prepayment* (1) 31 Mar 2016
Yes
Via post or email
Yes
Yes
(1) The only fix available for prepay users - not a cheap option plus it has £50 exit fees. If your relative's on a prepay meter, see our Cheap Prepaid Gas and Electricity guide for more help.

Paying by direct debit's cheapest

If they do nothing else, get your gran to set up a monthly direct debit - it's usually 6% cheaper than any other way of paying (see the Energy Direct Debits guide).

You'll also need to provide regular meter readings to help ensure their direct debit is accurate. Virtually all suppliers allow you to do this over the phone.


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What the * means above

If a link has a * by it, that means it is an affiliated link and therefore it helps MoneySavingExpert stay free to use, as it is tracked to us. If you go through it, it can sometimes result in a payment to the site. It's worth noting this means the third party used may be named on any credit agreements.

You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help MoneySavingExpert.com: Energyhelpline, Moneysupermarket, SimplySwitch, Uswitch

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