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Compare electricity prices

Compare electricity prices

Many people only use electricity, as opposed to both electricity and gas, to heat and power their homes. Fortunately, there is usually a wide range of electricity-only deals available for them to choose from. To find cheap electricity deals for your household, uSwitch can help you run a comparison of the latest deals to see how they stack up to your current plan.

Lock in a fixed energy deal today

Although energy prices have fallen slightly, you can save more by switching to a fixed deal today. Enter your postcode below to get started.

How to compare electricity prices

To compare electricity prices, you should:

  • Step 1 Find a recent electricity bill from your electricity supplier.
  • Step 2 Visit an Ofgem-accredited electricity price comparison site, like uSwitch.
  • Step 3 Enter your electricity usage details as prompted so your results can be specific to your region and consumption.
  • Step 4 Review your electricity comparison results — you may choose to switch online to save hundreds of pounds, or simply want to see how your current electricity plan stacks up to the market.

How to calculate your electricity bill

When it comes to calculating your electricity bill, it’s important to understand how you are charged for your electricity. You’ll be charged a certain rate per kWh of energy you use - this should be specified on your bill. You can also keep track if you have a smart meter, which should show your usage and your spend as it happens, allowing you to make changes to your usage if you feel you need to.

What is a standing charge?

A standing charge is the fixed cost of your home’s energy use. Gas and electricity each have their own standing charges, which relate to the costs associated with keeping your home connected to the energy network in addition to covering costs relating to maintenance and government energy initiatives.

What’s the average cost of electricity per kWh?

The Energy Saving Trust says that the cost of electricity cost three times more than gas. When calculating energy savings, the organisation uses an average electricity price of 13.86p per kWh.

However, your actual kWh cost depends on a range of factors, such as where you live, what kind of energy plan you are on, what payment method you use (i.e. credit or prepayment) and, in some cases, what time you consumed the energy. Find your exact price per kWh using the sample bills in our guide to how to read your energy bill.

Should I expect electricity price increases?

As of August 2019, there is no reason to expect any electricity price increases before the end of the year. This is because the energy price cap has just been reviewed and lowered to reflect the falling wholesale costs of energy throughout Europe. It won’t now be reviewed until February 2020.

Lock in a fixed energy deal today

Although energy prices have fallen slightly, you can save more by switching to a fixed deal today. Enter your postcode below to get started.

Electricity tariff types

There is a wide range of electricity tariffs of different types available from suppliers at any one time, including variable and fixed tariffs, Economy 7 options, green choices and more.

Variable electricity tariffs

Variable electricity tariffs are tariffs where the price customers pay is subject to change at the supplier’s decision. This means that these tariffs can be among the most expensive on the market - they are greatly affected by the energy price cap, which limits the amount that suppliers can charge customers on these tariffs. Those on a variable tariff of any kind are advised to switch to a fixed tariff so they can control how much they’re being charged for their energy usage.

Fixed electricity tariffs

Fixed electricity tariffs are plans where the price customers pay is fixed for the duration of the tariff, meaning they won’t be hit with any price increases when they’re least expecting it. It’s important that customers make sure they know when the plan is about to end, because it’s likely that they’ll be rolled on to a variable plan and start paying much more than they should be.

Dual fuel tariffs

Dual fuel tariffs are tariffs which combine gas and electricity from the same supplier. They can be beneficial for customers because they only have to think about dealing with one supplier, as opposed to two. Dual fuel tariffs can sometimes also work out cheaper than getting two separate tariffs from two different suppliers. Whether this is relevant for you will depend on your specific circumstances. Many people only have need for one type of fuel.

Prepayment electricity tariffs

A prepayment electricity tariff means that the electricity is paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis. Customers top up their meter with a certain amount of money, and when the money is used up, the energy supply stops. This can be a good way for customers to ensure they only pay for what they use, but can be irritating when the meter runs out unexpectedly. Read more in our guide.

Economy 7 electricity tariff

Economy 7 is a type of electricity tariff that has a different price per kWh based on the time at which it is being used - this is usually based around day and night-time usage. Those on an Economy 7 tariff will have an Economy 7 meter. Electricity usage at night will be charged at a lower rate than day-time usage.

Green electricity tariffs

Various tariffs which make use of green electricity are available for customers to switch to. They are growing increasingly popular thanks to the increased focus on the state of the environment, with customers looking to do their bit to improve the situation. Plans with green electricity are often derived from solar, wind or hydro energy.

How to choose the right electricity supplier

Choosing the right electricity supplier will depend on what is most important to you as an energy customer. Obviously the tariff you’re looking to switch to should be the most important thing, but in addition, for example, you might want to ensure your supplier has:

  • No early exit fees, so you don’t need to pay a penalty if you want to change your tariff before it ends;
  • Strong reviews from other customers, so you know if you can rely on the supplier to provide a good level of service and easily resolve any issues you might have;
  • Extra benefits or reward schemes.

Who is the cheapest electricity supplier?

The cheapest electricity supplier varies depending on the deals and tariffs that are available at any one time. The table below shows the electricity-only tariffs currently available on uSwitch.

Supplier Plan name Price
ScottishPower Super Saver November 2020 B4 £495 Compare now
Bulb Vari-Fair £500 Compare now
EDF Energy Simply Online May21v4 £513 Compare now
E.ON Fix Online Exclusive v12 £513 Compare now
Green Network Energy GNE Amazing Autumn V2 £528 Compare now
So Energy So Wombat - Green £529 Compare now
EDF Energy Simply Online 1 Year Fix Nov20v3 £529 Compare now
npower Select npower Select uSwitch Exclusive v22 Smart £530 Compare now
Octopus Energy Super Green Octopus £539 Compare now
Octopus Energy Octopus 12M Fixed £539 Compare now

Based on average bill sizes for a medium energy user on an electricity-only plan, and averaged across all regions. This information is updated hourly with energy plans which are available to switch to through uSwitch. To appear in this table, plans must be available in at least seven of the 14 regions.

Who are the best rated electricity suppliers?

uSwitch’s annual Customer Satisfaction Rating survey is a good indicator of the general satisfaction of the public with their energy suppliers. The most recent survey in 2019 had OVO as the overall Supplier of the Year, with SSE as the Large Supplier of the Year.

Should I consider a small energy supplier?

uSwitch has carried out research in the past to determine whether or not consumers would be reluctant to switch to a small provider. We found that just under half of those signed up to a member of the big six - British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE – would contemplate changing to a smaller supplier.

The pros for many customers tend to be around receiving a more personalised service or a more innovative means of account management in addition to favourable rates.

The cons tend to be focused on concerns about the ability of a smaller provider to guarantee reliable service, or that a smaller supplier could easily go out of business. However, should a supplier no longer be able to provide electricity for your household, energy regulator Ofgem has enacted certain rules to protect your home and a different provider will be appointed to supply your energy, so this isn’t something that should deter you from switching to a smaller supplier.

How to change electricity supplier

Changing your electricity supplier should be fairly simple, regardless of your reasons for switching or the time at which you decide to do so:

  • Step 1 Compare the available deals on a price comparison website like uSwitch.
  • Step 2 Choose a new deal that matches your needs and is in your price range.
  • Step 3 Confirm your switch.
  • Step 4 Wait for the switch to be completed - you shouldn’t experience any interruption with your service or notice when your current supplier stops providing your energy and your new supplier begins.

How long does it take to switch electricity supplier?

From start to finish, it shouldn’t take longer than three weeks to switch electricity supplier. This is because most suppliers will be signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which pledges to ensure energy customers always receive a high level of service and a problem-free switch as when they decide to change supplier or tariff.

How often can you switch electricity supplier?

You can switch electricity supplier as often as you want, in theory. However, if you want to leave your tariff earlier than the 49 day limit, and you’re on a tariff which has an early exit fee, you’ll have to pay to do so.

What happens when you switch electricity supplier?

When you switch electricity supplier, your electricity is simply supplied by a different company, which is the one you’ll now pay for your usage. You won’t notice the switch happening and you’ll never have to speak to either supplier to let them know it’s happening. You can read more about that in our guide.

Will my supply be affected if I switch energy provider?

No. Every supplier uses the same wires and cables to provide you with energy so don’t let a fear of power cuts put you off running an electricity price comparison.

Should you decide to change supplier, your new and old providers will work together to ensure no disruption occurs leaving you to enjoy the best electricity prices. Compare electricity rates and switch using our simple and painless process today.

Read more about finding a new electricity supplier

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