In the first of my monthly “Ask the Expert” posts, I wanted something that I know could affect your bottom line – quickly and easily!

I’d like to introduce you to Rob Barnes who I’ve known for some time.  Rob helps individuals and companies save money on their utility bills and everyday shopping.     Thank you, Rob for your top tips!

Utility Guy’s 5 Top Tips for Switching your Utilities

If you’re over 40 (like me), you’ll remember the advertising slogan from the first sell-off of British Gas shares – “If you see Sid, tell him” – and yet, a generation after the UK’s utilities were opened up to the free market, there are still millions of people who have never switched suppliers.

I’ll be frank with you.  If you’ve never switched, you’re almost certainly paying too much.

Here are my Top 5 Tips to help you take the plunge…

1: Switching suppliers used to be a long-drawn-out, problematic affair.  No more.  You can usually do the switch online, and you don’t even have to contact your old supplier.  The whole exercise is usually finished within 3-4 weeks.

2: Remember that the comparison sites – even MoneySavingExpert – only include the companies who are willing to pay to be there.  Instead, use independent reviews, such as ‘Which?’ Magazine ( and MoneyWise (

3: Pick a provider who actually helps you to reduce your future consumption.  For instance, there are sometimes offers to subsidise your insulation, and one very good company actually offers to replace all your lightbulbs for free, giving you LED bulbs which are brighter and use much less electricity.

4: Remember that the smaller companies tend to give a better deal than the Big Six.  Again, consult ‘Which?’ or MoneyWise to help you avoid any problems, and look for a company with permanently low prices rather than picking a supplier just for its introductory offer.

5: Take advantage of a useful piece of legal information.  If you’re in the last 7 weeks of a fixed-price gas or electricity deal, your current supplier does not have the right to charge you to leave – even if there’s an Early Termination Fee in your contract, it does not apply in the last 49 days of the contract.

Go for it – make the switch!

And feel free to contact me at any time on 01646 40 50 90 and

Rob Barnes

Robert Barnes MBA
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P.s Just a quick disclaimer from me (Caroline) I use these guys but this blog post does not constitute a recommendation or advice to do the same.

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