How to find the best energy deal and how to make the switch

Energy watchdog Ofgem hasintroduced a cap on gas and electricity tariffs in a bid to stop companies ripping-off customers, but the best way for bill payers to save money is still by switching deals.

The Government has claimed credit for the price cap that will save more than 11 million households a combined £1 billion a year, but ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi has been quick to point out the cap could have a negative effect.

The average saving of £75 a year is "pitiful compared to amount people would get if they switched and went to the market’s cheapest providers", says Money Saving Expert.

So how do you know if you're on the best energy deal and how can you switch to a better one if you're not?

  • Find out how much your supplier has hiked its fees

Regardless of the cap introduced by Ofgem, your energy supplier has most likely hiked its fees once this year, if not twice.

Money Saving Expert has a constantly updated list of recent hikes, and it warns if you are on a standard tariff with the likes of British Gas, EDF or Scottish Power "it's likely you're massively overpaying".

  • Price comparison website

Find out if switching could save you money.

Using a price comparison website can give you an accurate idea of which energy supplier can offer the best deal for you.

There is a list of Ofgem accredited price comparison sites on its website, including the likes of u-Switch and MoneySuperMarket and Simply Switch.

The sites are ones you can trust, according to Ofgem, and they should present pricing in a "fair and accurate way".

Click here to see the list in full.

  • Make the switch

Once you have picked a new supplier, give them a call or use their website to request a switch. They will get in contact with your current supplier and make the switch. On the day your new supplier kicks in, take a meter reading and send it to them.

  • Save without switching

Money Saving Expert advises you can still save money on your energy deal even without switching provider. Most households will be on the standard tariff - call your supplier or check their website to explore the cheaper tariff options.

  • Citizens' advice

Citizens Advice, the network of charities that gives free advice on money and legal matters, has a trove of information about switching energy suppliers on its website.

It also gives information on the type of tariff you may need, depending on your situation.

Click here for more information.