Online energy plans are extrememly competitive compared to other types of tariffs. Find out what it means to have an online energy deal
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They all have different features and benefits, but online-only plans are almost always the cheaper option. We look at what it means to have an online only gas and electricity plan.
What is an online energy plan?
When it comes to energy plans, "online" can refer to two different aspects of the plan.
The first being how you sign up to the plan, with some suppliers only allowing sign ups via their own website or through a third party energy switching website like uSwitch.
It can also refer to the requirement that the plan be managed entirely online, including submitting meter readings, contacting customer service and receiving bills.
However, in some cases you can opt-in for paper bills on an online plan for a charge.
Is an online energy plan cheaper?
An online and online account management deal will almost always be the cheaper option compared to the other types of plans.
Suppliers want you to switch to and manage your account online, as it cuts down on their resources — fewer papers to print off and post, fewer customer service agents taking time to take your meter reading. These costs add up.
So energy suppliers make these types of plans more competitive and therefore more attractive to customers comfortable navigating around online.
What are the benefits of online energy plans?
The lower cost is obviously a big benefit, but there are other benefits, such as being able to manage your account around your own hours.
Why not quickly log your meter readings in the evening or on the weekend? There's no need to wait until "opening hours" of a call centre.
Also, with a secure account, you can view your most recent energy bill or review your plan end date from any device with internet acces. No need to go through a pile of papers.
Not to mention, going paperless is better for the environment. If you're guilty of throwing those unopened bills to the side, only opening occassionally to check things are in order, consider simply logging in to review your account instead.
And, with websites like uSwitch making it easier than ever to switch to a better energy plan, and making clear all the details of any tariff, switching online versus over the phone is a no-brainer.
Of course, online switching and online account management isn't for everyone. And that's fine, too. But it's worth noting that if you're happy to reduce paperwork and create an online account with your supplier to manage your energy bills, it will come with a savings.