How you can compare energy suppliers
Thinking of switching energy suppliers? There's lots to consider - fixed or variable tariff? Is dual fuel cheaper? We answer these questions and more.
Find the best deal for you
Switching energy suppliers isn't just about finding the cheapest deal. You need a tariff that's right for your home, your family and your lifestyle. So with plenty of suppliers to choose from, it's important you spend a little time finding out which one could be right for you.
Do you need a fixed-energy tariff for a set rate throughout the year? Or if you don't use gas at all, maybe an electricity-only tariff would be best for you.
Whatever you need, our step-by-step guide will help you choose the right supplier and find the best deal.
How to compare energy suppliers
Follow these steps to find the right deal for you.
1. Review your gas and electricity bill
Are you paying separately for gas and electricity? Choosing a single provider is a great way to save money, so it's worth checking out the benefits of a dual fuel tariff.
If you just want to switch your gas or electricity on its own, you could still find a better deal by comparing suppliers.
2. How much energy are you using at home?
Your choice of tariff might be affected by how much energy you use, so it's worth checking what you get through each month.
Take a look at your last few energy bills to find your average payment. This should help you work out which tariff is right for you.
3. Compare energy tariffs to get the best deal
Should you choose a fixed or variable tariff? Most suppliers offer both.
What's a fixed price tariff?
It guarantees your rates will stay the same for the length of your contract, so you'll be protected from the ups and downs of wholesale energy prices.
Plus, fixed price tariffs are often cheaper than standard variable rates.
What's a variable tariff?
This is usually a supplier's default rate - your energy prices will go up and down as the costs of gas and electricity change. So it's worth contacting your supplier to see if a different tariff can save you money.
What about green tariffs?
Choosing a green tariff helps you reduce your carbon footprint as providers buy more from renewable sources.
And, some green tariffs also help to develop more natural energy sources like wind, solar, tidal or biomass.
Try to compare like-for-like
With so many tariffs on the market, it's important to be sure you're comparing similar energy tariffs. If not, you'll need to take their differences into account when you make your decision.
A quick example
A tariff with no standing charge might have higher prices per unit, but could still be cheaper overall.
British Gas energy. How much could you save?
From flats to family houses, our gas and electricity tariffs have you covered. Get a quote to see if you could cut your bills by switching. And remember, our Rewards scheme offers you regular treats just for being with us. Tempted?
4. Payment methods for energy bills
Is the easiest way to pay for your energy bills. Providers usually offer better rates if you pay this way.
Pay as you go meters
Let you buy your energy upfront, so you'll never get a bill you can't afford.
Pay via monthly or quarterly bills
And you'll see how much you're using. But it's not normally the cheapest option.
5. Online vs offline energy bill accounts
If you're happy to manage your energy account online, it's a great way to save money.
Do everything online
Just use your provider's website or app to send meter readings, view and pay bills and contact customer service. And if you receive your statements online rather than by post, many providers won't charge you.
You can also view your previous bills, change your billing information and any other account details. And if you use the app, you can do all of this when you're out and about.
6. Energy loyalty rewards scheme
It's always nice to be rewarded. So look out for suppliers who offer free energy, exclusive music, sports tickets and even interest paid on your account.
With British Gas Rewards you could enjoy free cinema tickets, restaurant discounts and prize draws to see big name artists live at the O2.
7. Exit fees for switching energy suppliers
Some energy suppliers charge exit (or cancellation) fees for leaving a fixed-term contract early.
Make sure you do the sums
So if the potential saving is less than your exit fees, it's probably not worth switching. But some providers will offer to pay your exit fees if you join them - it's worth checking.
Wait for the last 49 days
Remember that exit fees don't apply during the last 49 days of a fixed-term contract.
Ready to make the change?
Let us show you just how easy it is to switch energy suppliers.
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By investing in wind farms, solar and green gas, we're helping customers reduce their home's CO2 emissions.
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