With summer coming to a close and grey skies forecast across the UK this week, don’t let gloom extend to your energy bills. More than a million of you could each save around £355 on your annual energy bill – read on to find out how.
Each Big Six energy company has at least a million customers (more than four million with British Gas) on their standard tariffs, new data from energy regulator Ofgem revealed last week. All of these people are paying more than they need to.
Npower customers on its standard tariff (more than 1.2 million people) are worse off – Npower is the priciest of the six biggest firms. These customers could pay £355 less for gas and electricity on average over a year if they switched to the cheapest energy deal.
But if you’re on the standard tariff of any Big Six energy company, you could still save £289 on your bills. Keep reading to find out how.
Find the best gas and electricity deal for you using our independent energy comparison website, Which? Switch. Or phone Which? Switch on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.
Save up to £355 on gas and electricity
Now is not the time to sit still on a standard energy deal. British Gas’s price rise comes into force on 15 September 2017, adding £76 on average to dual-fuel standard tariff customers’ bills.
The biggest energy firm in Northern Ireland, Power NI, will also raise its prices from 1 October 2017. This will add around £24 per year to customers’ bills.
You can protect yourself from these price rises by choosing a fixed-term deal. These typically last one or two years and fix the price you pay per unit of electricity or gas for the duration of the deal. So your prices don’t change, even if your supplier increases its rates (although your price wouldn’t drop if it decreased them).
Five cheap energy deals for September
We’ve calculated the five cheapest dual-fuel (gas and electricity) deals if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. The list below shows how much each tariff would save you over a year, compared with British Gas or Npower’s standard tariff. We’ve chosen these because they’re the cheapest and priciest standard tariffs from the Big Six energy companies at the moment.
- £831 Green Network Energy GNE Italian Touch 12 Month Fixed V8 – Paperless. Fixed tariff with £25 exit fee per fuel. £355 saving from Npower, £289 saving from British Gas.
- £834 Iresa Flex4 12month Fixed Direct Debit – Paperless. Fixed tariff with no exit fee. £353 saving from Npower, £286 saving from British Gas.
- £834 Iresa Flex4 Standard Variable – Paperless. Variable tariff with no exit fee. £353 saving from Npower, £286 saving from British Gas.
- £843 Economy Energy Online Saver. Fixed tariff with £25 exit fee per fuel. £343 saving from Npower, £277 saving from British Gas.
- £854 Tonik Energy Positively Green – Paperless. Fixed tariff with no exit fee. £333 saving from Npower, £266 saving from British Gas.
If you’re currently on a standard tariff, you can switch to one of the above deals when you like, without paying an exit fee. If you’d rather not be tied into a fixed deal, choose one with no exit fee to leave – such as Iresa or Tonik’s tariffs listed above.
Do you live in Northern Ireland? Check our dedicated Northern Ireland electricity and gas suppliers guide to see the best – and worst – energy firms, according to their customers.
Are you eligible for energy grants?
If you’re worried about paying your energy bills this coming autumn and winter, check whether you’ll be eligible for government grants, discount or freebies:
- The Warm Home Discount is a £140 payment to help those struggling to pay their energy bills. You automatically qualify if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
- You’re likely to be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment if you were born before 5 May 1953. It provides £200 to help with winter gas and electricity costs (or £300 if you’re aged over 80).
- The Affordable Warmth Obligation can help towards the cost of energy-efficiency measures, such as loft and cavity wall insulation or a new boiler. You’ll need to receive certain benefits to qualify.
- Free loft insulation is also available from some energy suppliers, and can save you up to £140 per year on your bills, as well as keeping your home toasty.
(How our prices are calculated: Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff for an average user (using 3,100kWh of electricity and 12,500kWh of gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills and are averaged across all regions. Exact prices can vary according to region, usage and payment method. Prices are rounded to the nearest whole pound. The prices given above are correct as of 4 September 2017.)