In business and at home, energy usage is almost inevitable. But why would 35% of SMEs* think that their energy supplier would overcharge them?
Let's take a look at why.
Essentially, this is what it boils down to. Over the years, we've seen numerous articles in the press and online, about the various practices of energy firms and sources.
These range from huge disasters like Deepwater Horizon to world-changing accidents, Chernobyl for instance, all the way through to data leaks, tax avoidance and mis-selling scandals.
Times have moved on, practices have changed and companies are increasingly aware of how brand image can be tainted. Even accountability has changed. For all we bemoan politicians, rightly so, for failing to keep firms in check, the balance is now different with social media.
Previously, where a firm was found to be doing something wrong, they might fear a few days of bad press. Now, there are a few days of bad press, word spreading rapidly on social media and more pressure on MP's to act in the wake of scandals.
Possibly, but it is more complex than just a yes or no.
The reason is that when you take out a new contract, you should be on a good deal with fair terms. However, prices fluctuate daily.
The deal that was brilliant one week, may be bested the next. That is just the way of it, unfortunately. Your bill is made up of the same elements, unit price, supply, admin etc and energy companies are subject to the same pressures as other businesses so their internal costs are always moving too.
It is probably just slightly cheaper for them to keep their office lights on.
Diarise your contract start and end dates to increase your chances of saving money when your contract is winding down.
Another key piece of information to look out for is exit costs. If prices were to plummet dramatically whilst you are in contract, you may be able to switch to a cheaper supplier. However, it is likely you will have an exit fee on a per fuel basis. When considering a switch, be aware of all costs and anything that can change.
You could also bring in a professional to look after your utility costs. They can bring expert knowledge, advise you on different elements and costs and handle switches for you.
Alan Gordon is the utilities expert at MAP Link.
Alan's knowledge of his sector, things that can affect prices and experience in handling the switching process gives his customers complete peace of mind.
Alan has many years of experience within the utilities sector and currently works out of Ayrshire.
*Survey by EnergyBillKill