Most energy suppliers claim to have the cheapest tariffs, but who really has the best gas and electricity deals?
Whenever you see the words 'cheapest energy supplier', 'cheapest tariff' 'cheap gas and electric' or 'cheap gas and electricity', it is usually based on a very specific type of user.
What really matters is who the cheapest electricity supplier for you is. Run a personalised cheap gas and electric comparison to find the best gas and electricity deals for you:
If you use a gas and electricity comparison site you may well be surprised about who the cheapest energy supplier for you is. Gas and electric suppliers frequently change their prices so it's worth regularly comparing what's on offer.
Who's the cheapest gas and electricity supplier on average?
Again, finding a cheap gas and electricity plan will depend on your specific circumstances. An energy plan which provides the cheapest utilities for one household might not necessarily provide the same gas and electricity rates for another. The table below contains the best gas and electricity deals, based on a medium user consuming 3,300kWh electricity and 16,500kWh gas, with bill sizes averaged across all regions:
|Fixed March 2015||£1168|
|New Energy + Ovo Just Reward||£1,175|
|Energy Fixed 1 Year||£1,178|
|iSave Fixed12 June 2015||£1,178|
|Blue + Price Promise March 2015||£1,183|
|Price Fix April 2015||£1,202|
**This table does not include advance payment plans (payments are taken in advance of energy usage).
How are electricity and gas tariffs set?
Energy rates can vary due to a wide range of different factors. These can include global shortages, logistics issues and even weather conditions, such as an extremely cold winter. Gas and electric suppliers often buy energy months and even years ahead of time to guard against price fluctuations. This adds a further level of complexity to gas and electricity tariffs.
Faced with such a volatile market, the simplest way for consumers to ensure they are getting the best gas and electric prices is to regularly compare gas and electricity quotes.
OK, but who are the cheapest gas and electric suppliers for me?
The way energy tariffs work means that there is no one single cheapest energy supplier or tariff, only the best gas and electricity deal for you.
The claim to be the cheapest energy supplier is based on an average user. The problem is that not everyone is average.
Electricity tariffs can vary depending on a household's location and consumption. The same is true of so called "cheapest gas prices".
Luckily, it's easy to find a cheap gas and electricity tariff for your home.
How do I find a cheap gas and cheap electricity supplier?
When you compare gas and electric suppliers, the cheapest provider for you will depend on several different factors - most significantly where you live and how much electricity and gas you use.
When you compare best gas and electric prices with uSwitch we give you a personalised quote, based on where you live and how much energy you use. This enables you to choose the best cheap gas and electricity plan for you.
Some of the best gas and electricity deals may not be available in your area, or the rates may be different.
Usage also has an impact. For example, plans that have a standing charge, with a subsequent lower cost per unit for electricity and gas, might work out cheap for someone who uses a lot of electricity, but very expensive for someone who uses very little.
So, if you're a low user, the standard best gas and electricity deals or the cheapest energy supplier on average may not be right for you. Our comparison tool will take all of the above into account and help you select the best value energy suppliers for you, to ensure you have access to cheap gas and electricity prices.
So which energy suppliers offer cheap gas and cheap electric in your area? The only way to be sure you're getting the cheapest electricity and gas prices is to run a comparison of the whole energy market.
Would a switch affect my energy supply?
No. You shouldn’t worry about possible energy outages when looking for the best gas and electricity prices.
Don't let a fear of power outages keep you from accessing the cheapest gas and electricity prices.
Your energy will be delivered through the same pipes and cables as your current supply and your new and present electricity and gas suppliers will arrange the transfer.
What happens if a supplier raises its cheap gas and electric prices after I've switched?
Being a consumer in the energy market can feel like it's a bit of the "better the devil you know" kind of game.
But, when looking for cheap gas and electric prices, you can take some precautions to protect yourself from an energy price rise. One option could be to select a fixed price energy plan.
Some gas and electric suppliers offer fixed price deals. What are the key benefits?
A popular choice for households as of late has been to opt for fixed price energy plans. A flurry of fixed rate contracts were introduced in late 2012, and although these come at a slightly higher premium - so will not represent the cheapest gas and electricity right now - they will lock your energy rate for one, two or even three years.
If you can afford the premium, a long term fixed rate electricity and gas plan could mean significant future savings.
Some of these gas and electric plans come without cancellation fees. So, in the event of an electric and gas supplier lowering rates, you can switch without incurring a charge. Despite this, long term fixed rate contracts launched in July 2013 have seen an increase in premiums charged, so it is always worth looking around before switching to a different electric and gas provider.
What about switching to a small gas and electricity supplier?
Research carried out by uSwitch in April 2013, revealed that only 56% of those contracted to one of the Big Six – British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE – would consider switching to a smaller electricity and gas supplier.
In some cases small gas and electricity providers might offer the best cheap gas and electric deals for you.
The main reason for this relates to concerns over the ability of a smaller gas and electricity supplier to provide a steady and reliable service. If you would like to take advantage of the best gas and electricity deals but are unsure about an energy provider you can look them up on our guide to gas and electric suppliers.
If you are worried about the supplier offering you the best gas and electric prices going out of business, rest assured. If that were to happen you would be protected by energy regulator Ofgem and transferred to another supplier. For more information on getting cheap gas and electric deals through a small supplier, have a look at our guide to small suppliers.
How does uSwitch find the best gas and electricity prices?
Our energy experts strive to make sure we have up-to-date and accurate facts and figures in terms of industry developments as well as gas and electricity quotes. We endeavour to uncover any hidden costs to help you find cheap gas and electricity deals.
As energy suppliers value the customers we bring them, they often offer exclusive deals through uSwitch. To access these offers simply run a comparison of cheap gas and electricity suppliers through our website.
We also have a customer care department which provides support and answers any questions you might have about switching and obtaining the best gas and electricity quotes.
Here at uSwitch we conform to Ofgem's Confidence Code. As a result we operate independently of energy suppliers and help you compare the best electricity and gas prices through a simple and reliable process.