One of the first things you should do if you want to reduce your energy bills is to check you’re on the cheapest tariff available. If you’re not, you should consider changing your energy supplier

There are lots of ways to find out about the best energy deals available, but the easiest is to go online and check the internet price comparison websites.

Just remember you’ll need to give your existing supplier 28 days notice that you intend switching to a new energy provider. Your new supplier may do this for you.

If you’re in arrears with your utility bills, you might not be able to switch energy supplier until you’ve paid off what you owe to your existing supplier.

Why not think about signing up to a supplier that produces electricity from renewable sources such as wind and hydroelectric power.

What you’ll need to switch

If you’re thinking about changing your energy tariff or supplier you’ll need to tell your new energy provider about your existing account. They’ll want to know who your current gas and electricity suppliers are and the tariff you’re on (you’ll find this information on a recent electricity or gas bill). They’ll also want details of how much you spent on energy in the previous year. Calculate this information using a bill that is based on real meter readings and not estimates.

You’ll also be asked for your postcode, plus details of how you pay your bills at the moment and how you plan to pay them in the future. You can usually get a cheaper tariff if you pay by direct debit or online.

Don’t forget to make a note of your meter reading on the day your energy supply changes. Check that this is the reading your old supplier has used to calculate your final bill, and your new supplier has used as the starting point for the first bill on your new account.