If you feel you are paying above the odds for your electricity, it may be time to switch suppliers.
Compare energy suppliers and save money in five minutes!
In This Guide
How to compare electricity prices and switch suppliers
1. Enter your postcode
Electricity prices vary from place to place around the country. Enter your postcode in the box at the top of this page to start the journey, and we can show you an accurate list of electricity plans available in your area.
2. Tell us about your current tariff
So that we can help you work out how much you’d save with a new electricity supplier, we’ll need to know a bit about your current plan and current energy usage. This is easiest if you have a bill to hand, but we can use estimates if not.
3. Choose your new electricity deal
You’ll be presented with a list of tariffs to choose from. All you to do is pick the one that’s right for you. Once you’ve selected your new energy supplier, click ‘apply’ to complete the switch. Once that’s done, your new supplier will contact your current supplier, you just need to sit back and relax, and your switch will be complete.
What you’ll need to compare suppliers and find a cheap electricity tariff
In order to begin comparing suppliers to find cheap electricity prices, you’ll first need to make sure you have certain details to hand regarding your current electricity tariff. These can be found on any energy bill from your current supplier or on your online account. This includes:
- The name of the plan you are on – whether it is fixed rate tariff, variable tariff, dual fuel tariff, etc. See below for more information on the different types of electricity tariff.
- Your current electricity provider – the name of the company who supplies your electricity. This will either be one of the big six or one of the UK’s growing number of smaller suppliers.
- How you pay for your bills – if it’s a prepaid meter or through direct debit, for example. You can also put in your preferred method of payment if it is different from your current one.
- Your usage – this can either be per month or year and can be denoted as pounds spent or kWh used.
- When your existing tariff expires – when your current agreement ends and whether it will auto-renew.
If you can’t get access to this information from your bill or personal account then contact your supplier. If you’re unsure of your usage, we can calculate estimates based on the size of your property.
With this information in hand, you are ready to begin comparing electricity tariffs and switch energy providers. Simply input your postcode into our comparison tool and we will help you find the right tariff and get you a quote tailored to your specific needs. We will still be able to help if you can’t get this information, providing quotes based on your estimated usage or with the amount you are currently paying on your bills.
The more information you have ready when you compare suppliers, the more accurate your projected savings will be
Why should I switch electricity suppliers?
If you have recently moved to a new property or you haven’t switched providers in a couple of years, the chances are you are on your current supplier’s default or standard variable tariff.
The best and cheapest electricity deals are normally reserved for new customers, with suppliers offering enticing price points on fixed tariffs that are usually the best on the market. Providers will tend to offer these fixed rates for 12-24 months before moving customers onto variable plans with higher costs. So even if you have taken advantage of a deal in the past, you may no longer be getting the benefits.
Nearly half of UK households are on variable plans and the only way to get a better, fixed tariff is to change it or switch suppliers entirely. Even if monetary gains aren’t a primary concern for you; switching suppliers may have additional benefits, such as offering better customer service or by offering green energy plans to reduce their carbon footprint.
Does it cost anything to switch electricity suppliers?
It doesn’t cost anything to switch providers. The only time you may be charged is if you attempt to leave your current contract early. This is often referred to as an ‘exit fee’. Exactly how much it will be, and what period it extends to, can be found in your original agreement or on your supplier’s website.
If you have fewer than 42 days left on your contract you will likely not have to pay the exit fee. Again, check with your supplier for further details and to see when your contract ends. Some energy providers will offer to pay your exit fees if you switch and take out a gas or electricity tariff with them.
If your contract has an exit fee and you are still a long way from the end point, it is worth considering whether switching early will still save you money. Most suppliers have exit fees to dissuade customers from leaving, though by comparing electricity prices and finding a better deal you may be able to save enough on your annual bill to cover the exit fee, and then some.
It is also worth considering whether you have any outstanding bills before switching. Your current supplier will expect all bills to be paid in full up to the point you switch and not completing this commitment could incur fees and/or debt collection proceedings.
What will happen to my electricity supply if I switch?
In short, nothing. Your current supply will remain the same and the switch over should happen completely seamlessly, with the existing and new electricity suppliers handling the transfer to ensure no disruption of power.
The only need for any physical interaction will be if you opt for a smart meter to be installed by your new supplier. They will contact you to arrange a suitable time and the installation shouldn’t take more than a few hours. The same applies if you are switching from a tariff with a prepayment meter to one with a standard credit meter.
Will my electricity be cut off whilst my switch takes place?
There should be no reason for your new or previous electricity supplier to disengage your power during the switch over. The new supplier will be able to use the same cables and wires to supply electricity and the only difference you should notice will be how much money you save on your bills.
Who is the cheapest electricity supplier?
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. Prices change in different locations and, more importantly, they change over time. Deals come and go, suppliers change their electricity rates regularly, and sometimes suppliers go out of business altogether.
According to Ofgem, average standard variable tariff prices offered by ‘large legacy suppliers’ (i.e. the big six – E.ON, British Gas, EDF, SSE, npower, Scottish Power) are a little higher than those offered by other providers. With the introduction of the default tariff price cap, standard variable tariff prices among most suppliers have converged.
If your house has electricity and gas, you might be best off with a dual fuel tariff. To find the cheapest electricity supplier in your area right now, enter your postcode in our comparison box at the top of the page.
What is the best electricity tariff?
With dozens of suppliers and multiple tariffs to choose from, picking the best option can feel a little overwhelming. In reality, the options are fairly simple. Though suppliers may offer different variations, the main tariff types boil down to six options. Which one is best for you will depend on your circumstances, such as what type of property you live in and your average usage.
Types of electricity tariff
Fixed rate tariffs
Fixed rate tariffs charge you a set amount per unit of electricity used. The amount will be agreed when you take out a contract with the supplier and the price per unit will not change for the duration of the agreement (normally 12-24 months).
This means you will never be charged more, even if energy prices rise. The downside is that you will pay the same if prices fall and you will be tied into a contract that will likely have an exit fee should you wish to switch.
The most common option in the UK, standard variable tariffs fluctuate with market prices. This means your annual bill may be hard to predict and a surge in energy prices could prove costly.
The plus side is that you are rarely tied to a contract, so there are no exit fees.
Electricity tariffs with different meters
Prepaid meters offer great control over your usage, allowing you to top up as you go either through a key that plugs into your meter or online.
The downside is that you will often pay more per unit of electricity used and there is always the risk of power cutting out if you don’t keep the meter topped up.
Both 7 and 10 economy tariffs are similar to standard variable options, the difference being that they offer cheaper unit rates during off-peak hours (covering either 7 or 10 hours, respectively). This is a great tariff for households that don’t have occupants during the day.
Dual fuel tariffs
This tariff covers you for both electricity and gas from one supplier, making your annual bills much easier to manage. Having both gas and electric covered under one supplier will also often mean better rates, and you can choose to have a fixed or variable tariff in most instances.
Green tariffs ensure that your energy is supplied via renewable sources, either partly or in most instances fully.
Not only are green energy tariffs available as fixed or variable but green suppliers are now tending to offer cheaper electricity than standard suppliers.
Renewable energy: finding a green electricity supplier
There are now a wide range of green energy tariff providers, with even the big six starting to offer renewable energy alternatives. This means that you can have your electricity powered by solar, wind turbines, geothermal heat, hydro-electric, and all manner of renewable sources.
These alternative means of power not only reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment, they can also save you money on your electricity bill. When comparing suppliers look for their green credentials to see who offers the most eco-friendly deals.
Comparing electricity suppliers as a tenant vs as a homeowner
As a homeowner, comparing and switching electricity suppliers is relatively straightforward. You simply need to have your aforementioned details handy, make sure you are nearing the end of your agreement (if on a contract) and use our comparison tool to compare electricity prices and find the best deal.
This is often also the case for tenants, but not always. If you pay for your energy yourself and are named on the bills, then the same rules apply. However, if your bills are included as part of your rent agreement, or you reimburse your landlord for the electricity used, then you will not be able to change the supplier yourself.
You may request that the landlord change your electricity supplier during your tenancy but they are under no obligation to do so. Similarly, the landlord may have a preferred electricity supplier that they use for the property. If you pay for the bills directly though, you have no need to continue using them if you find a cheaper electricity tariff.