The best tariff (or energy plan) for your home will be one that meets your needs as an energy user. Providers set their own specific terms and conditions, but the tariffs they offer will generally fall into one of these types:
The cost of energy goes up and down depending on the wholesale or market cost of gas and electricity.
The most common type of variable tariff is the standard variable tariff or SVT (sometimes known as the default tariff). SVTs are generally expensive and you can unwittingly end up on one if you don’t negotiate a new deal when your contract comes to an end.
If you’re on a variable tariff, you’ll benefit if prices fall but you’ll face higher bills if prices rise.
The price of your gas or electricity is fixed per kWh for an agreed period of time (usually for 12 or 18 months).
Your bills can still go up or down, but this will be based on the amount of energy you use rather than the unit cost of it.
If your energy use is consistent, a fixed rate tariff can help you stay within a budget.
This is where you buy both your gas and electricity from the same supplier.
Very often you’ll be given a discount for buying both and it can be easier to manage from an administrative point of view as you only have one supplier to deal with.
A percentage of your gas and electricity will be from renewable sources such as solar, wind or hydroelectric power.
If you have an economy meter, you’ll get either 7 or 10 hours’ worth of cheap energy every day.
This can be a good tariff if you can set appliances on a timer to make the most of off-peak costs.
This is where you pay for your energy before you use it.
Prepaid meters need to be topped up with money using either a key, token, card or app.
This is usually an expensive tariff and meters are often installed in homes where residents have had problems paying bills in the past. If you’ve bought a house with a prepayment meter you can ask to have it changed.
This depends on what you’re looking for in a supplier so ultimately it’s up to you to decide. Some areas you might want to think about include:
Cost may be the overriding factor for you.
Customer satisfaction, including how long it takes for problems to be resolved.
Do you want a supplier that actively uses renewables or funds green projects?
Some tariffs can only be managed in certain ways so if you have a preference for online or paper billing, then check to see what’s available
Changing gas and electricity supplier is easy, but here are the answers to common questions we get asked by our customers. We hope you find them useful:
To find the best deal for you we need to know how much energy you currently use and compare this with the tariffs available today.
So we can work out how much you currently use and spend, we need to know your current suppliers, current tariffs, your current payment method and either your current spend or consumption. It is better to tell us the consumption figure as this allows a more accurate calculation.
To work out the cheapest tariff for you to switch to, we need to know your supply area and preferred future payment method.
In that case, do not worry about applying for a dual fuel contract. Please select the option to compare ‘Electric only’ at the top of the form.
There are two main benefits – price and convenience.
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2020 to 2021 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2019 to 2020 closed on 31 March 2020. The 2020 to 2021 scheme will open on 12 October 2020.
The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.
There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme:
How you apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme depends on how you qualify for the discount.
Pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meters
You can still qualify for the discount if you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter.
Your electricity supplier can tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible, for example a voucher you can use to top up your meter.
Park (mobile) homes
Applications for winter 2019 to 2020 have now closed.
Fill in the Park Homes Warm Home Discount application form to be contacted when the scheme reopens.
The following suppliers are part of the scheme:
Will my supply be cut off?
No, Ofgem will move you to a new supplier. Your energy supply won’t be disrupted and a new supplier will be appointed to you. They advise that you take a meter reading and not to do anything until they have appointed a new supplier and they have been in contact with you.
Who will choose my new supplier?
Ofgem will choose your new supplier, following a competitive process designed to get the best deal for you.
When will I know who the new supplier is and the date I’ll be switched to them?
Ofgem will make a decision on a new supplier as soon as possible and will announce these details on their website.
Ofgem will ask suppliers to bid to become the new supplier, so they can try and get the best possible deal for you in the circumstances.
After they have chosen them, you will be moved onto a new contract with the new supplier. It should only take them a few days to appoint a new supplier.
During this time, Ofgem’s advice is to sit tight, don’t switch and wait until your new supplier contacts you. This will make sure the process is as hassle free as possible for you, including securing the return of any outstanding credit balance you may have.
Once you have been contacted by your new supplier, you should ask them to put you on their cheapest deal or shop around if you are not happy with them. You won’t be charged exit fees.
For more information visit Ofgem’s guide – https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/extra-help-energy-services/ofgem-safety-net-if-your-energy-supplier-goes-out-business
Doing a gas and electricity comparison takes just a few minutes but it could lead to a significant cut in bills. All you need to do is answer a few questions about your current contract and we’ll take it from there.
Have your latest bill to hand as it will contain all the information you need.
The switching process takes up to 21 days, but some switches take as little as 16 days.
Your new supplier will also handle the entire switching process from the moment you decide to switch. They’ll speak to your existing provider and let them know you’re switching and the two of them will work together to ensure your energy switch goes smoothly.
The only things you’ll need to do is confirm that you really do want to switch, take meter readings for each provider and settle any outstanding bills you may have.
Your new supplier will use all the existing pipes, ducts and cables so there’s no need for any disruption and you won’t be cut off at any point in the process.
You also have a 14-day cooling off period so it’s ok to change your mind – just make sure you let the new supplier know you want to cancel before those 14 days are up.
To ensure you get the best gas and electric tariffs on offer as well as value for money, you’ll need to consider:
It’s always best to make sure you settle any outstanding bills before you switch.
If you’re heavily in debt with your current supplier they may not let you switch until you’ve paid off what you owe, but this is usually at their discretion.
If you pay your gas and electricity provider directly and it’s your name on the bills, then yes, you can switch gas and electricity supplier. Before you do, it’s a good idea to let your landlord know and to check the terms of your tenancy. Some landlords may have a preferred supplier, or there might be a clause that requires you to switch back to the original provider when your tenancy comes to an end.
If your landlord pays your bills for you and you then pay them back, you can’t automatically switch gas and electricity. Instead, speak to your landlord about the benefits of a better gas and electric deal
Yes, and it can be great opportunity to make the switch. On moving day, note down your gas and electricity meter readings at your old home and your new home – you’ll need these to ensure you only pay for the energy you’ve used yourself.
When you’re in your new home, it’s likely you’ll initially be put on the energy provider’s SVT. When you’re settled, you can then search for new tariffs to suit you.
If you need to find the cheapest gas and electric deal for your home we can help.
Use our price comparison tool to find the cheapest domestic energy supplier.
We monitor your tariff to find you the best deal every three months.
There is no charge for our services when you sign up.
We take care of the switching process for you, you don’t have to do a thing.
I was really surprised about how much I would save, and am very glad I got in touch with Edan to find out
- JSV, Birmingham
I thought changing energy supplier would be too much paperwork. It was much simpler than I expected.
- MM, Leicester