To find the cheapest electricity rates for your household, you'll need to compare electricity prices using a trusted energy price comparison site that offers a whole market view. uSwitch is Britain's top gas and electricity comparison service.
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How to compare electricity prices
- Step 1 Find a recent electricity bill from your energy supplier.
- Step 2 Visit a trusted electricity price comparison site, like uSwitch, that is accredited by Ofgem. If you choose another website, make sure it offers a whole market view (not just plans you can switch to through them), uses your own energy details for a personal comparison, is accredited by Ofgem and does not take you to a third-party site for the actual switch
- 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.
- Step 5 If you switch, enjoy your savings! The average user on uSwitch saved £488 a year* by switching their electricity!
What's happening to electricity prices?
Electricity customers have spent the last few years seeing energy rates go up and up and up.
From 2004 to February 2010 the average increase in electricity rates from the six major suppliers (British Gas, EDF Energy, npower, E.ON, Scottish and Southern Energy and ScottishPower) was 81% or £199.
All this change means securing the best electricity prices is dependent on running regular electricity comparisons.
When you compare electric prices, you are effectively benchmarking the market and securing an impartial view of the best rates.
What can I do about rising electricity prices?
The cost of electricity only seems to be going in one direction, but that doesn't mean you can't do something about it.
Try comparing prices to see if you are on the best deal. In 2009 at least 10 million energy customers had never switched suppliers, according to the independent watchdog Consumer Focus, and were missing out on more than £1 billion of combined savings.
Make sure you’re not missing out on the best price for you by comparing your energy supplier on uSwitch’s free and impartial comparison service.
You may even want to look at different tariff types, such as Economy 7, to find the best electricity costs.
Simply enter your postcode and start your gas and electricity comparison.
Running an electricity price comparison and switching for beginners
Comparing the best electricity tariffs requires certain pieces of information:
- Your post code
- Your energy use
Once we have this information, we can compare energy rates across our database of cheap electricity suppliers and run an electricity comparison to find the best plan and supplier for your needs.
Our energy calculator will compare utility prices using information sourced directly from the suppliers, and is impartial and free to use. Compare rates now and see how much you could save with a deal which suits you, not your supplier.
Your quote will also depend on what kind of user you are, so make sure you know what type of tariff and meter you need to ensure the best gas and electric prices.
Will my electricity supply be affected when I switch?
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.
What if a small supplier offers the best electric prices?
In April 2013, uSwitch carried out some research 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.
Don't ignore small suppliers when you compare utility prices
Most respondents expressed concerns about the ability of a smaller provider to guarantee reliable service. If a price comparison tells you that the cheapest electric deals are with a small provider, you can look the company up in our guide to gas and electricity suppliers. Here you can see if their cheap energy rates are matched by their customer service track record.
If despite this you remain concerned that the supplier which offers the best electricity tariffs could go out of business, don’t worry. 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 you will be switched to a new supplier.
So have no fear. You can compare electricity tariffs safe in the knowledge that you will be protected should a supplier become unable to provide you with energy.
Can uSwitch guarantee that I'll get the best energy prices?
At uSwitch, we try to make it very clear that 'best' or 'cheapest' as applies to electricity prices is entirely dependent on every customer's unique circumstances. We often say there is not one single best electricity price; it's about getting you to compare energy rates to achieve the cheapest energy comparison for you. By running a comparison you can determine if your current cost of electricity is higher than other market options.
When you compare utility rates with uSwitch, we make sure you get a fair and accurate overview of the market
We adhere to Ofgem's Confidence Code, which means we are independent from electricity suppliers and provide a simple way to compare electricity rates, switch provider and find the best price.
Electricity suppliers value the customers which join them through uSwitch and sometimes offer exclusive deals through our website. These will show up when you compare utility prices.
Our customer care department is on hand to answer any questions you might have about running electric comparison searches and changing electricity providers.
In addition, we employ a team of energy experts, who monitor economic and government policies to ensure that when you compare the price of the various plans on offer you can also take into consideration how any wider developments may affect future energy prices.
How are electricity rates set?
The price of electricity can be affected by a wide variety of factors. These can range from coal, gas and oil prices and changing distribution costs to unexpected weather such as a particularly cold winter. Electricity prices are further complicated by the fact energy supplies often purchase energy many months or even years in advance to hedge their costs.
For consumers, the easiest way to guarantee fair electricity rates is to regularly compare electric suppliers. This allows you to ensure that your cost of electricity is in line with or below the other options in the market.
In short, when you compare the price of the various electricity plans available, you make sure you are paying competitive electric prices.
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- How To Switch Gas And Electricity Do you know how to switch energy plan and save money?
*Between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2016, at least 10% of people who switched electricity supplier with uSwitch saved £488 or more.