How do I find the cheapest electricity supplier?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. The price of electricity in the UK changes by the day, as do energy tariffs.
Energy suppliers compete to win new customers, bringing out cheaper gas and electricity tariffs all the time.
You need to switch your electricity supplier at least once a year to lower your energy bills. Otherwise, you will roll on to a more expensive tariff with your energy supplier.
Are we boring you? Are you daunted by the idea of trying to find the best deal yourself? Read our other blog about how autoswitching services save you the time and effort of switching yourself every year. Go on, we won’t be offended.
How do I compare energy rates?
To find the best gas and electricity deals there are a few things you need to factor in.
Comparing the rates
The cost of an energy tariff is made up of unit rates and a standing charge. Comparing these is the most accurate way to check a tariff is cheaper for you.
The unit rate is the price you pay per unit (KWH) of energy.
To give you a ballpark figure, the average cost of electricity per kWh is 14.37p, and the average gas cost per kWh is 3.80p.
The standing charge is the cost of having the energy company supply your gas and electricity to your home. This is a daily fee which stays the same regardless of how much energy you use.
For electricity this is a flat rate of between 5p-60p/day and 10p-80p/day for gas.
Comparing the annual cost
Comparing with money tends to be a bit easier to get your head round.
When you compare energy prices you will be presented with an annual cost and monthly cost.
The annual cost is the one you want to use to give you an idea of how much cheaper the new deal will be.
The monthly cost is trickier to compare because it may change seasonally – where you’ll pay slightly more in winter because you inevitably use more energy at home.
Comparing rewards and incentives
Energy suppliers offer all sorts of incentives to get you on board. From £50 upfront cash, credit in your account, to a voucher off your weekly shop.
However, the best way to save money on your bills is not to overlook your overall saving for the year.
You don’t want to end up on a more expensive deal just because you have some money in your pocket to begin with.
Should I change energy supplier?
The fact you are here in the first place suggests this is a big maybe!
The questions you need to ask yourself are:
1. Have you ever switched energy supplier?
If you haven’t – then you could save yourself a lot of money by doing so!
Most people are on a standard tariff with the Big Six (EON, British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power, Npower, SSE) paying an average of £1254 a year.
This is around £400 more than the cheapest deal currently available.
2. Can you remember when you last switched?
Most tariffs are a year long. If it was less than a year than your last switch then you may have to pay an exit fee.
If you can’t remember when you last switched, it’s likely you’ve already rolled on to a more expensive tariff with your supplier.
You can check all of this information on your energy bill.
3. Has your energy bill gone up recently?
There are two reasons why this might be the case.
Energy companies can put up their prices at any time with variable tariffs.
The other reason may be simply that you are using more energy.
It’s super important to remember that your direct debit may change even if it’s a fixed deal.
This is because the rates (see this bullet point) are what is fixed.
If you use more energy than you initially estimated, then your direct debit can change.
Either way, it is worthwhile checking whether you can save money elsewhere. Always check your bill for exit fees.
Where do I find the cheapest deals?
- You can contact your current energy company to check whether you are on the best deal. Remember, you may find cheaper deals elsewhere with a different energy company.
- A price comparison site. You can search for a quote on an energy deal here. Word of warning: they will show you all suppliers regardless of whether they have poor service. Don’t just pick the first one right off the bat even if it’s the cheapest!
- An autoswitching service. Autoswitching finds the best deal for you every year. We also factor in service and quality so that you know you can trust your supplier. Find out more here.