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Get guidance on whether it's the right time to switch energy

Energy comparison sites aren’t offering many deals right now due to unprecedented market conditions, but you may be able to switch in certain cases.Enter your postcode into the Uswitch Quick Checker below to get a personalised recommendation for what you could do.

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Comparing energy deals

Using an energy comparison site like Uswitch is the easiest way to compare energy prices and switch energy supplier. We collate the vast majority of the energy deals on the market in one place and sometimes even offer exclusive deals that can’t be found anywhere else. We also initiate the switch with your current supplier, which will take the process forward with your new supplier so you don’t have to get involved at any point.

When comparing energy deals, the annual price of the different deals is probably the main factor to consider, especially given the current state of the market - there’s little guarantee that any deals will be suitable for you to switch to, though. In a functioning market, there are other areas that might have a bearing on your decision, such as whether the supplier’s deals use renewable energy, which is becoming more important as we look to halt the progress of climate change.

It’s easy to get started with comparing and switching energy thanks to the Uswitch Quick Checker. You’ll need your postcode and your plan name to get a personalised recommendation with regard to how your energy use compares to the average and what you could do about switching. You’ll then be able to see the results table which shows how much you’ll spend or save compared to your current deal, and you can select deals you want more information about from there. Once you’ve found one, you just need to confirm your switch and Uswitch will do the rest.

Some customers who use both gas and electricity prefer to compare energy prices for individual fuels as opposed to combining them into one deal. This can sometimes work out more cheaply than a dual fuel deal depending on the supplier. You can do this on the results table by using the filters provided.

If you’re looking to switch energy to a greener option, you can look out for our Green Accreditation badges on the results table. Our independent panel rates every green deal as either Bronze, Silver or Gold, depending on the green credentials of the deal itself and any wider green initiatives that suppliers are involved in. Clicking on a specific deal will tell you why it’s been given its rating.

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Comparing energy suppliers

One common question that customers tend to ask is “which energy supplier is best for me?” It’s easy to not look any further than the project annual cost of any deal you might sign up to, but, when comparing energy suppliers, it’s worth remembering that the best deal or supplier for you isn’t always the cheapest one.

Historically, it’s true that many customers haven’t been concerned with which supplier they’re with - the annual cost of the deal is more important to them. However, with cheap energy suppliers in short supply in the current market and many smaller suppliers dropping out of the market in the past year, your choice of supplier is more important than ever. For instance, those looking to switch energy might feel more comfortable with an established and more secure energy supplier (though be aware that some energy switching options may currently be limited to existing customers).

Additionally, energy suppliers’ customer service would be a key point to consider regardless of the wider market situation, so make sure you check out different companies’ reputations if this is a particularly important element for you. Some suppliers may also have perks and rewards for customers, which you may feel would be worth taking advantage of.

When it comes to changing energy supplier, you don’t need to worry about the logistics of switching from one to the other - Uswitch will let your current supplier know when you decide to switch, and it will then pick the process up with your new supplier, so you’ll never need to get involved. Most suppliers are part of the Energy Switch Guarantee, which guarantees a timely and hassle-free switch to customers, so there shouldn’t be any problems with your energy switch.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to change energy supplier, think about what’s most important to you and choose the one that ticks those boxes - but make sure the deal it’s offering works for you as well.

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How can you save across Uswitch?

With bills rising all over the place, not just in energy, it’s worth knowing how you can save money on your broadband and mobiles as well - according to our data, you could save up to £162 on your broadband alone. We’ve also put together a range of energy-saving tips and resources to help you manage and reduce your usage where possible.
You can read more at our cost of living support hub.

Price cap

The current price cap level for average use dual fuel customers is £1,971 per year, which is its highest ever level. It came into effect in April 2022. While you won’t necessarily pay £1,971 annually (for instance, you could use more or less energy than the average, which would see you potentially pay more or less than the cap level), it’s important to know how the cap affects your energy bills - particularly as it’s likely to rise further in October.
Read more in our price cap guide.

Which energy suppliers does Uswitch compare?

We'll help you compare energy prices from a range of suppliers, so you can find the best energy deal for your needs.
British Gas Logo (16:9)Eon Next logoShell Energy Logo (16:9)ScottishPower LogoOVO Energy Logo (16:9)Outfox The Market Logo

How to compare energy with Uswitch

Comparing energy with comparison sites like Uswitch is a simple task.
  1. All you need to compare energy deals is your postcode and ideally a recent energy bill, and you can start saving on your gas and electricity.

  2. After you’ve provided your details, you’ll see a table of deals and the amount you could save with each one according to your projected annual spend. This is the amount we predict you’ll pay for your energy each year based on your current deal and usage level. You can click on each deal to see more details about it, and once you’ve chosen one and confirmed it, you can relax.

  3. Uswitch does all the hard work when it comes to notifying your new energy supplier, who will then notify your old energy supplier to complete the switch, so you never need to be involved in the process. Your new supplier will get in touch to let you know the switch is in progress, and it should then be completed within 5 days according to the Energy Switch Guarantee.

How long does it take to compare and switch energy?

Compare energy deals in minutes

It only takes a few minutes to find your cheapest energy tariff with Uswitch.

14 day Uswitch guarantee

Once you’ve confirmed your energy switch, there’s a 14-day cooling-off period. In this time you can cancel your switch if you change your mind.

Switch complete in five days

Under the Energy Switch Guarantee, you'll be switched to your new cheap energy deal within five days.

Phone showing an energy comparison on the Uswitch website

When is the best time to switch energy supplier?

At the moment, there probably isn't a "best" time to switch energy supplier given the volatility of the energy market and the rocketing prices of many energy deals. Nobody can predict where energy prices are likely to go next. If you're on a fixed deal, it's advisable to stay on it until it ends, as it's probably a lower price than most deals on the market at the moment. If you're on a standard variable tariff, these are capped at £1,971 on average per year until October 2022, which again is probably lower than most deals on the market, so it may be advisable to stay on it until the energy market settles down. Assess the situation and use our energy Q&A if you need more information.

Do I need to let my current supplier know I’m switching?

You don’t need to let your current supplier know you’re switching - when you confirm your switch, Uswitch will notify your new supplier so it can action the switch and let you know when it’s in progress and confirmed.

What is the difference between fixed rate and standard variable tariffs?

A fixed rate tariff means that the rate you pay per unit of energy used is fixed for a certain amount of time (usually at least a year). This doesn’t mean you’ll pay a fixed rate overall; it depends on how much energy you use. You may pay more one month and less the next.
A standard variable tariff means that the rate you pay per unit of energy used is variable at the supplier’s discretion. This means it can go up or down at any time. However, standard variable tariffs are subject to the energy price cap, which is currently set at a limit of £1,971. It’s always important to remember, though, that the “price cap level” quoted is just the figure for an average user and the cap still applies to the unit rate - you can still pay more or less than the price cap level depending on your usage.

Energy Experts

Our energy experts are regularly featured on the latest energy market developments on broadcast media such as BBC Breakfast and regional radio stations, and in print media such as The Guardian, The Sun and regional titles.
Richard Neudegg is Uswitch’s Head of Regulation. His passion lies within ensuring the communications, energy and personal finance markets are competitive so that consumers are empowered to get the best possible deal. His expertise in consumer and market regulation with Uswitch is unrivalled, having extensive experience in the communications industry, including having previously worked for the sector’s regulator. Among other places, Richard has appeared on BBC Breakfast and across national and regional print and radio.
"The easiest way to save money on energy historically has been to switch energy regularly to ensure you're on a good deal. With wholesale energy prices still high, though, most customers may find that staying put at the moment is the best course of action. If in doubt, use the Uswitch Quick Checker to see if you could save."
Uswitch’s Head of Regulation
Richard NeudeggUswitch’s Head of Regulation
@RichardNeudegg

Why use Uswitch?

Trusted and free
Uswitch is a free, trusted and Ofgem-accredited energy comparison site
Exclusive energy deals
We often have exclusive energy tariffs you won’t find anywhere else
Switch energy online
Search for cheap gas and electricity deals and switch in minutes
Our Uswitch guarantee
You have 14 days to cancel your energy switch if you change your mind

What our customers say

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Have used Uswitch for the past 3 years, quick and effective in changing gas/electricity supplier every 12-18 months and always saves me money. Highly recommended.
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Saved £244 on switching to another energy provider great site to use easy and quick. Highly recommended.
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Very quick to view, decide and change suppliers.
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Energy prices

Energy bills are currently high because of a range of factors that have caused the price of wholesale energy to rocket. This means it costs energy suppliers more to buy the energy they supply customers with, and they therefore have to charge customers more to cover themselves financially.

The few fixed energy deals that are now available are likely to be extremely expensive, with standard variable tariffs now at the cheaper end of the market. If you're coming off a fixed deal, you're almost certainly going to have to pay more for your energy than you have been. A standard variable tariff, though, might be the most affordable option for you. Consider your options carefully and take a look at our energy market Q&A for more information.

One way to reduce the amount you pay for your energy is to track how much you're using. Check that your bill is based on actual readings of your gas and electricity meters rather than estimated ones. It’s important to take your own readings so that you get charged accurately. Or consider getting a smart meter, which provides real-time meter readings and can help you monitor your energy usage — you can request one from your supplier or switch to a smart meter tariff.

It's going to be difficult, given the current state of the energy market, for many customers to find a cheap gas and electricity deal. Energy prices have risen by a significant amount, with deals hundreds of pounds more expensive than they were a year ago.

It may be the case that a standard variable tariff, which is capped at £1,277 until 1 April 2022, is the cheapest deal available for many customers. Fixed deals are now extremely expensive and could lock you in for a long time. Consider your options carefully and check out our energy Q&A here for more information.

Since the price cap's introduction, it's fair to say that it hasn't really helped cut people's energy bills. The standard variable tariffs it applies to have still been the most expensive on the market, especially when compared to fixed deals.

However, with energy prices rocketing, fixed deals are now being priced far above the cap's current level of £1,971. This means that the price cap is now doing the job it was designed for - though it won’t cut your energy bills per se, standard variable customers will be protected from prices higher than £1,971 until 1 October 2022. Find out more about the energy price cap in our guide.

The cheapest energy supplier for someone else isn’t necessarily the cheapest for you. That’s why we compare energy suppliers tailored to you to get the best energy deals.

Energy suppliers vary their pricing by region and your bill will also depend on your usage. Different energy suppliers also target different types of household, so some might offer their cheapest gas and electricity deal to a family home with high usage, while someone living alone with low usage might find a cheap energy deal with a different supplier.

The best gas and electricity supplier for you won’t necessarily be the cheapest. You can use Uswitch to filter by what’s important to you, whether that’s a large supplier or one that offers green energy plans.

We also know customer service is important, so we’ve assigned each supplier star ratings based on our energy customer satisfaction report to help you compare energy suppliers, from the well-known ‘big six’ to the smaller suppliers you might not be so familiar with.

A smart meter won’t save you money directly, but it will show how much energy you’re using each day and highlight areas where you could afford to cut back on your energy usage. This could therefore have a positive impact on your bills.  

Energy prices can change every day as they reflect the market changes. If you are on a variable plan, your rates may fluctuate throughout the year, but will not increase before October 2022. On a fixed plan, your rates will stay the same during the fixed period.

How to switch energy

Most of the UK’s energy suppliers are signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which guarantees that the supplier you’re switching to will complete the process, and that it will be done within five days.

There’s also a two-week ‘cooling off’ period, during which you can cancel the switch free of charge.

There’s no need to get in touch with your old supplier once you’ve made your energy switch. Once they’ve received notification of your switch, the supplier should send a final bill and close your old account once you’ve paid any outstanding amount. While there’s no need to cancel your Direct Debit, you can do this through your bank if you want to be more confident you won’t still be charged – just remember to settle your final bill first.

Your gas and electricity won’t be interrupted at any time - even if your supplier goes out of business and you’re transferred to another supplier, the lights and heating will stay on. In the case of switching, most energy suppliers are signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which requires switching for customers to be reliable and hassle-free. With that in mind, any problems involving the interruption of your supply are extremely unlikely.

You can switch energy supplier if you’ve been in debt for fewer than 28 days - the money you owe will be added to your final bill. If you’ve been in debt for longer, you probably won’t be able to switch until you’ve settled that debt (unless the supplier’s billed you incorrectly). 

If you’re on a prepayment meter, you can switch as long as the debt to your current supplier isn’t greater than £500.

If you’re moving and you want to take your current deal with you, let your provider know - depending on where you’re moving to, you may be able to take it with you. Otherwise, you’re free to switch away from the supplier in residence at your new property in the normal way.

One thing to remember to do is take a meter reading on the day you move out, and take another one at the new property - this will ensure you’re only paying for what you use. Read more in our guide.

You can compare energy prices by providing your postcode and usage details (starting with the postcode entry box at the top of this page) so we can show you the deals available in your area along with the estimated savings based on your current usage.

In order to switch energy supplier, you’ll need:

  • Your address

  • Your tariff name

Uswitch will collect your usage data and current supplier from your address details.

You don’t necessarily need all that to compare energy deals, but you run the risk of an inaccurate personal projection and savings estimate if you don’t provide as much information as possible at the start of the process. 

You can usually switch energy supplier if you’re a renter as long as you pay the energy bills. If the landlord pays the energy bills, you will need to get their permission.

If you want to only see gas deals or electricity deals, you can filter available tariffs on our results table.

When you confirm your switch, you’ll get a confirmation email from your chosen supplier within a day or two to let you know that it’s going ahead. Once it’s completed, which should be within 21 days, you’ll get another onboarding email letting you know that you’re officially getting your energy from your new supplier. Your supply won’t be cut off at any point, so you can sit back and relax.

If you don’t want to switch energy supplier, you still might be able to find a cheap gas and electricity deal with Uswitch. If you haven’t switched energy before it’s likely that you’re on your provider’s standard variable or default tariff, which is typically the most expensive type of plan on offer. You can use Uswitch to compare energy deals from your current provider if you’re happy with the service but want to save on your energy bills.

Types of energy

A dual fuel tariff is an energy tariff that combines electricity and gas from the same supplier, so you only need one energy tariff. Not only can this work out more cheaply than getting the two fuels from different suppliers, but it also reduces admin on your end because you only have one bill to pay, one number to call if you need customer service and so on.

Green energy has become more accessible in recent years, and most suppliers now offer at least one renewable or green energy plan. We’ll highlight green plans in your energy comparison results, and you can even filter your results to show only green energy plans.

Yes, you can switch energy if you’re on a prepayment meter. Just select ‘Prepayment meter’ when you’re asked how you pay your energy bills. You can tell you’re on a prepayment meter if you pay in advance with a smart card, token or key. You can also choose to switch away from using a prepayment meter by replacing it with a credit meter.

Similarly to the cheapest supplier question, the best type of energy tariff for someone else won’t necessarily be the right one for you. The most important thing to think about is whether you want a dual fuel deal or whether you want single fuel deals from two different suppliers. There will obviously be price considerations to take into account, as well as the reputations and size of different suppliers. Think about what’s most important to you and make your decision based on that.

Households underestimate energy price cap increase by over £1,000

15 August 2022

View news

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Green Energy

Green energy has become more accessible in recent years, and most suppliers now offer at least one renewable or green energy plan. We’ll highlight green plans in your energy comparison results, and you can even filter your results to show only green energy plans.

As we move away from our reliance on non-renewable energy sources, green energy is becoming more prevalent in energy suppliers’ fuel mixes and more of a priority for customers.

Whether you’re interested in solar, wind, tidal or other types of green energy, you can specifically compare green energy deals with Uswitch.

And in order to make sure you’re getting a green deal that works for you, you can make use of Uswitch’s Green Accreditation scheme. An independent panel of experts rates each green deal as Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on how green it actually is, so you can have full confidence about what you’re signing up to.

Those looking for a greener way of getting from A to B should consider switching to an electric vehicle. While the initial cost of an electric vehicle compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle is higher, the running and maintenance costs are much lower and will save you money in the long run.

If you already have an EV, you should consider signing up to an EV-specific tariff (similar to an Economy 7 tariff) to enable you to charge it up in the most affordable way.