If you have been looking for a better energy deal and you have come across an online energy plan, you probably want to know what one is and what – if any – benefits there are to taking one out.
Online energy plans are becoming more and more common as utility companies switch away from the traditional energy tariff system. Here’s everything you need to know about them:
What is an online energy plan?
Online energy plans are online-exclusive energy plans, meaning you sign up to them online and you manage them online. This reduces the administration costs for energy suppliers significantly, and it is also kinder for the environment becuase you opt-in to paperless billing.
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So are online energy plans cheaper?
Usually, online energy plans are slightly cheaper overall than standard energy plans. In fact, they can be several hundred pounds cheaper over the course of a year than a supplier’s standard rate energy plan. Usually, you can get a discount on your gas, electricity or dual fuel plan by opting for an online plan and you can usually get further discounts by opting to pay by Direct Debit.
But, this is not necessarily always the case.
Instead, online energy plans are marketed as an easier way to buy energy, so the savings you make will likely be time-based as opposed to bill-based. This might come as a surprise to you, and to be honest, in that way online energy plans are a bit of a con. So no, they are not always cheaper, and our advice is to research the market before signing up to an online energy plan.
How is an online energy plan managed?
Online energy plans are mainly managed online. Energy suppliers provide you with an online dashboard, where you can view and change your account details, make a payment and much more. You will have to sign up for an online account to do this. Some utility companies also provide you with energy usage statistics.
However, you can still manage your account over the telephone and through email. You can also still receive paper bills if you would like to. This is particularly handy for people who are not used to managing their energy bills online or for people who don’t have a good internet connection. For this reason, it may be cost-effective for you to sign up to an online energy plan, even if you plan on managing your account in the old fashioned way – over the phone and by email.