How to compare energy tariffs and suppliers
Looking to find the best energy supplier? There’s lots to consider – from the best tariffs for electricity to the cheapest dual fuel deals. We’re here to help you choose.
How to get the best gas and electricity deal
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 choose an energy provider
Follow these steps to find the right deal for you.
1. Review your current deal to get the best energy rates
Take a look at a recent bill or statement. Are you paying separately for gas and electricity? Having a single supplier can be more convenient, and sometimes be the best energy tariff. Check out the benefits of a dual fuel tariff.
Even if you want to pay for gas and electricity separately, it is still worth comparing suppliers to find the best energy tariff.
2. Understand how much energy you’re using to find the best tariff
Your choice of tariff might be affected by how much energy you use, so before comparing different tariffs, log into your account and take a look at your last few energy statements or bills to find your average energy use. This should help you work out what the best energy tariff is for you.
Want to know how your gas and electricity use compares to the typical UK household?
How much you use depends on your lifestyle, your home’s size and how many people you live with. Check out our average energy bill guide to find out more.
3. Compare tariffs to find the best energy rates
Take a look at energy comparison sites or phone different suppliers to understand what gas and electric deals they offer.
You might want to think about different types of tariffs:
What's a fixed price tariff?
A fixed price tariff guarantees your rates will stay the same for the length of your contract, so you'll be protected from the changes of wholesale energy prices.
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. Therefore, it's worth contacting your supplier to see if a different tariff can save you money.
Take a look at our fixed vs variable energy tariffs guide to better understand how these type of tariffs work.
Should you switch to a green tariff?
Choosing a green tariff helps you reduce your carbon footprint as providers buy more energy from renewable sources.
Some green electricity tariffs match 100% of the electricity you buy with renewable electricity. This means that for all the electricity you use, the same amount is fed into the National Grid from renewable sources like wind and solar power.
For example, if you choose our award winning Green Future energy tariff we’ll match 100% of the electricity you use from renewable generators in the UK. For gas, we’ll balance 100% of the CO2 footprint with carbon-cutting projects and renewable biogas. And we’ll protect five trees in the UK per fuel each year you’re on the tariff, contributing to cleaner air and improving natural habitats.
Compare similar energy tariffs
With so many different gas and electricity tariffs on the market, it's important to make sure you’re comparing similar energy tariffs. If not, you'll need to take their differences into account when making your decision.
For example - is it an online only tariff? Or a tariff that needs you to pay by monthly Direct Debit?.
British Gas comparison. British Gas home gas and electric quotes
From flats to family houses, our gas and electricity tariffs have you covered. Check now if you could save on energy bills. Let's find the best energy tariff for you.
4. Consider your payment method
This is the easiest way to pay for your energy. Energy suppliers usually offer the best energy rates if you pay this way.
Pay As You Go meters
Pay As You Go meters (also called prepayment meters), let you buy your energy up front. This way you never get a bill you can’t afford.
Pay via monthly or quarterly bills
You’ll see how much energy you’re using. But it’s not normally the best deal for gas and electricity.
5. Weigh up your options before you switch energy supplier
Online or offline
If you’re happy to manage your energy account online you could save money with an online tariff. Think about whether you find the provider’s website easy to navigate or if they have an app. From here you should be able to:
- Send meter readings
- View and pay bills or statements
- Contact customer service
- View your previous bills or statements
- Change your billing information and any other account details
If you’d prefer to receive your statements by post, switch to a supplier that offers this too.
Some energy suppliers charge exit (or cancellation) fees for leaving a fixed-term contract early.
Make sure you do the sums before leaving. If the potential saving is less than your exit fees, it's probably not worth switching. But some energy providers will offer to pay your exit fees if you join them - it's worth checking.
It could be worth waiting for the last 49 days of your current deal. Remember that exit fees don't apply during the last 49 days of a fixed-term contract.
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