Utilities and Switching

Getting the best deal on consumer products is the best way to make sure you are keeping costs as low as possible. In most cases, you can make savings by switching providers at the right time.

Switching Energy Providers

Do a price comparison on energy providers

You might be able to save money on your energy bills by switching to a better deal. This could involve changing your tariff and staying with your current supplier or switching to a new supplier. Use our price comparison tool to compare tariffs and prices.

Compare energy prices
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Please Note

There's a different process for switching energy supplier if you’re in debt.

Sign up to an auto-switching service

You can sign up for Auto-Switching service with Switchd or Look After My Bills. These companies will check the market for you and switch you to the best deal before you end up on your supplier’s expensive out-of-contract tariff. This might not be the cheapest tariff, so it's always best to keep an eye on what you're being switched to.

Money Savings Expert 's Energy Club can help you auto-switch or pick the best tariff and compare deals.

Auto switching
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Look after my bills
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Money Saving Expert's Energy Club
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Please Note

If you need more immediate help with energy matters, check out our Energy section. 

Switching Other Services

You can switch providers for other services such as:

  • mobile phone contracts
  • broadband
  • banking
  • insurance

You should always check if your existing supplier has a minimum contract period or if your renewal period is due to expire. If you don’t check you could end up paying for two contracts until the old one expires or be hit with Early Termination Charges.

Our public advice pages on reducing your regular living costs is a good place to start. It offers switching advice and other useful tips aimed at reducing everyday costs. Depending on the product, there are different considerations you should think about before switching. Use our advice on switching broadband, phone or TV provider to make sure you've thought about your decision before moving to a new provider.

Other switching services you can use for these costs include:

If you're having issues with providers or worried about your energy bills, our public advice pages have information on what to do if you are struggling with your energy bills

Cheap Tariffs for those on Benefits

Check out low cost phone and broadband tariffs

To help those on low incomes, certain providers are offering low-cost packages for cheap phone calls and broadband. 

These products are not endorsed by Citizens Advice Scotland but might be able to help you get cheaper tariffs for your telephone and internet packages. 

Applying for BT Home Essentials
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Virgin Media Essential Broadband
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Please Note

To be eligible for BT Home Essentials, you must get at least one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Guarantee Credit Element of Pension Credit
  • Income-Related Employment & Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit

If you qualify, you’ll get Home Essentials for a year, even if you come off benefits. The plans on offer include fibre broadband from £15 per month or a call only plan for £10 per month. 

BT previously offered reduced prices for people on certain benefits via its 'BT Basic' packages – those eligible got line rental and standard (ie, non-fibre) broadband for £10.07/mth or line rental only for £5.16/mth. This package has a call allowance of £1.50 plus free weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers (lasting up to 60 minutes). There's also a price cap of £10 per month for UK landlines and mobiles.

BT Basic is no longer available for new customers but existing BT Basic customers will NOT be forced to change tariff. If you have a BT Basic package, you can stay on it indefinitely (provided your circumstances don't change).

Virgin Media's Essential Broadband has a similar low-cost broadband-only offer if you get Universal Credit. This package gives you a speed of 15Mbps at a fixed price of £15 a month. There is no fixed term contract and you shouldn't have any price changes while you're on benefits.

Check if Home Energy Scotland can make your energy bills cheaper

Home Energy Scotland is a national service that provides free advice to Scottish households on how to make your home warmer, use less energy and reduce your energy bills.

Their specialist advisers can help you get national and local funding as well as other energy-efficiency measures. Home Energy Scotland Funding Finder can help you find the best available options and grants.

Home Energy Scotland will carry out an assessment of your home to assess your energy efficiency. From this assessment, Home Energy Scotland can advise you on energy-saving measures you can make. It can also advise if you're eligible for any energy saving grants on Energy Saving Trust's website.

Home Energy Scotland
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Home Energy Scotland's Funding Finder
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Check if there is an Area Based Energy Scheme delivered by your local council

Area Based Schemes delivered by your local council will depend on where you live. 

Local Area Based Energy Schemes
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Check if you can get additional energy support from EnergyCarers team?

Energy Savings Trust operate the Energycarers Team who can do home visits and provide extra help if you need it. 

The Energycarer service is available to Scottish residents, through the Home Energy Scotland programme. You can call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282. For more information on the service, including what it provides, visit the link below. 

Energycarer Support Scotland
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Please Note

For more tips on making your energy work better for you, check out our Energy Section.

Get on the Priority Services Register

You can ask for extra help from your energy supplier by asking to be placed on the Priority Services Register. This is available for people who are considered “vulnerable” such as pensioners, disabled people or people with mental health issues. The services offered will depend on your own situation but might include: 

  • support with meter readings
  • moving your energy meters free of charge
  • sending your bills or correspondence to a person of your choice, for example your carer or family member.
Priority Services Register
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