Gas and Electricity


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Compare Cheap Gas and Electricity Prices at comparethemarket.com

Many people stick with the same supplier for their gas and electricity, year after year. In fact, Ofgem found that over 45% of people don’t recall ever switching supplier!

 

Unfortunately, these people are extremely likely to be paying a lot more for their energy than they need to.

 

While Ofgem believes customers who’ve never switched supplier could save around £200** a year by doing so, we’ve seen evidence of customers saving a lot more than this with comparethemarket.com.

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Frequently thought questions

Thinking about changing your gas and electricity supplier is one thing, doing it is quite another. So many questions – but not all of them are ones you want to ask out loud, because sometimes you might think you should know them, or you simply have more important or interesting things to think about than finding out about gas and electricity.

But we don’t believe questions about gas and electricity have to be complicated or confusing, and to prove it – here are some you may have frequently thought about (along with their answers).

Why should I switch gas and electricity?

Customers could save an average of £335^^ on their annual energy bill by switching gas and electricity. You may also want to switch to get better customer service, or easing your conscience by opting for a green energy supplier. Whatever your reason, only comparethemarket.com customers get rewarded for switching by getting 2 for 1 cinema tickets with Meerkat Movies.*

Should I switch to a dual tariff?

Dual fuel is where your gas and electricity comes from the same supplier. It can be cheaper to buy it together, but that’s not always the case. Most people opt for dual fuel because of the price, but it also makes life a lot easier – only one supplier to deal with, and one set of paperwork.

There are around 48 suppliers who provide gas, electricity, or both, so there’s lots to choose from, and you shouldn’t feel obliged to go down the dual fuel route if it doesn’t make financial sense to do so.

How much could I save if I switch gas and electricity?

How much your household could save isn’t an exact science. Recent Ofgem research shows that the cheapest available tariff is around £834a year whilst the average available variable tariff is roughly £1,066– so it’s pretty clear that there are savings to be had.

 

As well as switching supplier, you can try and be more energy efficient at home. It can feel like a bit of a chore, but once you get into the habit of doing things like turning off lights when you leave a room, it’s easy. Even showering for one minute less can reduce your bills in the long run – find out more of our top energy saving tips.

Which gas and electricity tariff types I can get?

There’s an energy tariff to suit all households, it’s just a question of finding the right one. Energy suppliers will offer fixed rate, dual fuel, online and capped tariffs – to name just a few. To find your best match, read our guide to available energy tariffs.

Is it more complicated to switch gas and electricity together?

Switching dual fuel is no more complicated than switching one energy type on its own (and that’s not very hard).

When it comes to searching for quotes, just choose the option ‘gas and electricity’ if you want to focus on dual fuel.

It helps if you have your latest gas and electricity bill to hand, because the answers to the questions we’ll ask you, will be in there. If you don’t have one, then don’t worry, we can still run a search based on estimations.

How does switching gas and electricity work?

It doesn’t matter who supplies your gas or electricity – it all comes into your home through the same pipes, ducts, cables and wires. All switching means, is that the supplier providing it changes. When you make the decision to switch, your new supplier will sort out all the details with your existing one – they’ll even break the news that you’re leaving.

Your new energy supplier will send you paperwork setting out your new tariff, as well as confirming details like your payment method and dates. If they aren’t correct, then make sure you let them know. You have 14 days to change your mind, so if you think you’ve made a mistake – it’s not the end of the world.

Check whether there’s an exit fee for leaving your existing supplier – especially if you decide to leave partway through a fixed rate contract. If there is an exit fee, then you’ll need to think about whether it’s actually worth waiting until your agreement expires.

As part of new Ofgem rules, your energy supplier has to tell you that your contract is due to end 42-49 days before it does. These end of contract days are your opportunity to look for a better deal. If you do decide to switch during the last 49 days of your contract, then you can’t be charged an exit fee.

Can I switch from a dual tariff to separate suppliers?

The short answer is yes. Just because your gas and electricity comes from one supplier doesn’t mean that it always has to be the case. There’s a misconception that dual fuel is cheaper – which it can be, but it’s not a given, so it’s always wise to compare your options.

When it comes to searching for a new deal on your energy, just select ‘gas only’, ‘electricity only’ or ‘gas and electricity’ depending on what you’re looking for. We’ll then bring back tariffs based on what you’ve chosen.

Can I switch gas and electricity if I owe money?

It’s always best to sort out any outstanding bills before the official switch date, otherwise it can make the transition a bit trickier.

When you decide to switch, and have got the ball rolling with your new supplier, you should settle any outstanding debts. You might find if you have bills that are more than 28 days old, you might find that you can’t actually change supplier until you’ve paid them. But there are some exceptions to the 28 days – for example, if you are less than £200 in debt, then your switch could still go ahead as normal.

Will my gas and electricity be interrupted if I switch?

No – your gas and electricity supply will carry on as normal. The only thing that changes is where your bills come from.

Gas and electricity come into your home the same way, so there’ll be no break in supply and you can get on with counting your savings.

I'm moving house, how can I switch gas and electricity?

Moving is a great opportunity to reassess your energy deal. If your existing deal is a good one, then it can be carried over to your new home – just tell your supplier the new address and the move in date.

The day you leave your old home, you should take a meter reading and give this to your supplier – that way you can be sure your final bill will only reflect what you’ve used.

When you arrive at your new home, take a meter reading and make a note of it. You’ll need to find out which supplier provides the gas and/or electricity into your new home and give the meter reading to them. That way, you won’t be paying for energy used by the previous owner.

When you speak to the existing supplier in your new home, check what tariff you’ll be put on – in most cases you’ll end up on their ‘standard variable rate’ which is usually their default (and most expensive) tariff. The one good thing about standard variable tariffs is that they’re flexible and you won’t typically be charged an exit fee for leaving – so, once you’ve settled into your new home, you can do some proper comparing and find a deal that suits you and your wallet.

Can I get a smart meter if I switch gas and electricity?

It depends at what stage in their smart meter programme your gas and electricity supplier is. Although the initiative was triggered by the government, the rollout is being managed by individual energy companies.

What that means, is that you can get a smart meter if your supplier offers it; or, you can wait. You can of course switch supplier in order to get one but you’ll need to make sure it’s really worth switching just to get a piece of fancy tech.

Our smart meter hub has all the low down about what the scheme is about, how smart meters work and if you really, really want one, we’ll tell you how you can get your mitts on one.

I have solar panels, can I switch a feed in tariff too?

Yes, feed-in-tariffs (FITs) can be switched too, but check that the supplier you want to switch to, is happy to pay your FIT.

A FIT is where you get paid for generating your own energy as well as getting money for selling back excess electricity to the National Grid. Most big energy suppliers are also FIT licensees – which means they are registered and able to make FIT payments.

The amount of money you are entitled to, depends on how much electricity you generate as well as how many solar panels you have. The price is set by industry regulator, Ofgem so switching doesn’t mean getting more money, but it might mean a more efficient service and therefore, swifter payments.

1 £834 per yearis the cheapest available tariff in the Ofgem bills, prices and profits report, based on average of dual fuel, direct debit and available paper tariffs from the six large suppliers at February 2017.

2 £1066 per yearis the average available variable tariff in the Ofgem bills, prices and profits report, based on dual fuel average available paperless tariff paid by direct debit with typical domestic consumption values at February 2017

**based on data in OFGEM Bills, Prices and Profits, information correct at 30 March 2017. Switching savings based on a customer moving from an average dual fuel direct debit standard variable tariff with one of the six largest suppliers, to the cheapest tariff available in the market.

^^In 2016 our customers saved £335 on average based on savings calculated by EHL Energy Partner Helpline Report.