Your energy bill is going to cost you more this winter than it did last year. Deals are getting more expensive and cheap deals are few and far between. But you could still cut your costs and save money if you’re on a pricey tariff.
Our analysis has discovered there is just one deal costing less than £900 per year on sale (for a medium energy user). Last month, there were two. But last November there were 37.
Meanwhile, 60 dual-fuel deals cost more than £1,200 per year for the average user. Last month, 37 tariffs were above this price point. Last November, there were just two deals this pricey.
This follows widespread price rises, with companies citing the increasing costs of wholesale energy.
So, chances are, your gas and electricity bill has risen – or is set to. If you haven’t already checked the cheapest deal for you, you could save up to £378 per year if you switched from the priciest default tariff with a Big Six company to the cheapest deal on the market.
Keep reading to see the cheapest gas and electricity deals for November 2018, the cheapest if you use a lot of energy, plus tips to keep your home cosy this winter.
Find the best deal for you by comparing gas and electricity prices with Which? Switch.
You can call us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.
Cheapest gas and electricity tariffs
Here are the five cheapest dual-fuel energy deals for November for medium users. They’re a good guide to what you might expect to spend each year, but the exact cost depends on how much gas and electricity you use.
The prices we’ve quoted are annual. We’ve given the tariff name, how much it would save someone who uses a medium amount of gas and electricity compared with SSE and Scottish Power’s standard variable tariffs (respectively, the cheapest and most expensive of the Big Six firms).
Tariffs from smaller suppliers are still the cheapest.
The second-cheapest deal available in all regions this month is a fixed deal with no exit fees. This means you can switch to its cheap rates and switch again without paying a penalty if you spot a cheaper deal in a few months’ time.
Why are energy deals so expensive?
This month will see more customers face price rises, including Bulb and Robin Hood Energy. Small supplier Snowdrop Energy has also gone out of business, and Nabuh Energy has bought its customers. All have blamed high costs of wholesale gas and electricity.
The priciest deal on the market now costs £1,483 per year for a medium energy user. It’s from Solarplicity and is called Solarplicity’s Fair Market Price September 2018.
But if you’re tempted by one of these offers, check whether you’d be better off switching to a cheaper energy deal and buying the ‘freebie’ separately.
We reveal how to get the best energy deal.
Cheapest deals if you use a lot of energy
If you use more gas and electricity than the average household, you’ll need to budget for bigger bills, too.
Signs that you’re a ‘high’ energy user can include living in a spacious house with lots of rooms, living with lots of people (adding to your hot water, cooking and lighting costs), or your home not being energy efficient.
If this sounds like you, then your annual combined gas and electricity bill may be around £1,674 per year, if you’re with one of the Big Six suppliers on a default deal.
Switching could save you a lot of money. To get you started, we’ve listed the top five cheapest dual-fuel deals for high energy users available now. They’re all at least £455 cheaper per year than the cheapest Big Six default tariff (from SSE).
The cheapest deals for high energy users differ from the ones we listed for medium users. This is because their charges are structured differently.
Most have a daily standing charge, which you pay regardless of whether you use any gas or electricity, plus a unit rate for the energy you use.
If you use a lot of energy, a higher standing charge and lower unit (usage) price will probably work out cheapest. If you use very little energy, it’s best to pay a low daily charge (a few tariffs don’t charge one at all), which often comes with a higher unit rate.
Switching energy supplier or tariff to get a better deal is a good way to save money fast. But you should also think about how you use energy.
Find out how to save electricity.
Quick tips to keep your home cosy in winter
Temperatures have plunged and the clock change has left us in the dark earlier each evening. As you turn on the heating and lights, follow our quick tips to make sure you’re using energy efficiently and keeping your home cosy.
- Use your heating controls effectively to set times for your heating and hot water to come on and off. Only heat the parts of your home you use, and set different temperatures for different parts of your home.
- Replace light bulbs with energy-saving LEDs. They can cost just £1.71 to run per year, compared with £8.42 for a traditional light bulb. Plus they last longer.
- Fit draught-proofing to stop heat escaping through unwanted gaps and cracks. Draught-proofing strips around doors, a chimney pot cap, and foam strips around your loft hatch are some of the options available.
- Insulate your loft if you haven’t already done so. The recommended amount is 270mm and should pay for itself in energy bill savings in around two years.
If you think you might struggle to pay your winter energy bills, check our guide on help with paying your energy bills to see if you’re eligible for support.
Which? energy pricing research
Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff available in all regions in England, Scotland and Wales paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills.
Energy usage is based on Ofgem’s annual average figures for a medium user (12,000kWh gas and 3,100kWh electricity) and high user (17,000kWh gas, 4,600kWh electricity), as stated. Data is from Energylinx.
Prices given are averages across regions, are rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 1 November 2018.