The early signs of spring have been marred by many energy firms announcing price rises for customers this April.
The latest come from Ovo, Tonik, Toto and Bristol Energy. However, Bulb has bucked the trend by announcing a gas price drop, cutting customers’ bills later this month.
They join British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE and more which are all adding approximately £117 to customers’ bills from the start of next month.
You still have time to switch supplier, and could potentially save yourself £324 per year.
Read on to find out if your energy company is raising its prices and, if so, the cheapest deals you should switch to. Or compare gas and electricity prices straightaway, using our independent comparison service, Which? Switch.
You can call us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.
Cheapest gas and electricity deals
If you’re not sure how much you should expect to spend on gas and electricity in a year, use the list below as a guide. These are the five cheapest energy deals for March, based on a household which uses a medium amount of energy.
Medium energy use is calculated by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the government’s energy watchdog, based on data from the two most recent years available.
Your exact spend depends on how much gas and electricity you use.
Below, we list the annual price of each tariff plus how much it would save a medium user compared to the new price cap from 1 April. We’ve used the new price cap as a comparison because it takes between 30 and 32 days on average (including 14 day cooling-off period) to switch supplier, according to Ofgem data.
So by the time you have switched to one of these, many suppliers will be charging their new, higher, rates.
The cheapest deal is from small supplier Utility Point and it’s £30 less per year than the next cheapest (also from Utility Point). The second-cheapest deal will fix your prices for 18 months but if you find a cheaper deal in that time and want to switch, you’ll have to pay £36 exit fees per fuel to leave.
Utility Point is too small to be included in our most recent energy companies satisfaction survey, so we can’t tell you how customers rate it. The third-cheapest deal is from Avro, which was included in our survey and finished 19th. Find out what customers think of Avro Energy’s bills, service and more.
When you choose a new energy supplier, consider customer service as well as price. See the best and worst energy companies for 2019, based on feedback from their customers.
Will your energy bills rise?
So far, 14 energy companies have revealed that they will increase their prices on 1 April. This in includes all of the Big Six firms.
The prices for many companies’ standard tariffs will be almost identical – this is because there is a cap on standard and default tariffs, set by the energy regulator. Many companies plan to charge the maximum permitted (£1,254) when the cap is raised on 1 April. Currently, they are charging the maximum permitted under this cap (£1,137 per year).
But Bulb is cutting its prices, while all other firms are increasing them. From 21 March, its customers will pay roughly £20 less for gas per year.
Use the table below to find out if your energy firm has raised its prices and by how much. We’ve included the amount that a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity would pay, per year, to help you compare.
The price changes above apply to you if you are on your energy company’s standard variable or default tariff. You are likely to be on this tariff if you have not switched supplier or tariff, or if you took no action when your last fixed deal ended.
Approximately 140 energy tariffs are ending between January and March this year. Check if this applies to you and, if so, choose a new deal or supplier to avoid moving automatically onto your energy firm’s standard tariff just as it’s about to rise.
How to save money without switching supplier
You might still be able to save on your energy bills without switching energy supplier. Perhaps you’re keen on your current one, or worried about choosing a small supplier after a few of them have gone bust.
To do this, check that you are on the cheapest tariff for you that your current supplier offers. It should state this on your latest bill, or you can use a price comparison website to check. Sometimes companies will offer ‘exclusive’ deals available on comparison sites only (not direct from them) so it’s worth checking.
Below we show how much you could save by switching from the standard tariff (as of 1 April) to the cheapest deal available from 10 of the biggest energy suppliers.
Standard tariff customers with EDF Energy could save £235 in a year without leaving the firm. But British Gas customers can save just £19. So if price is a key concern for you, it might be worth looking elsewhere.
Bulb sells just one tariff so isn’t included in the chart above. Its tariff currently costs less for a medium user per year than any of the cheapest tariffs of the companies included above.
Read more tips on getting the best energy deal.
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 use is based on Ofgem’s annual average figures for a medium user (12,000kWh gas and 3,100kWh electricity per year).
Data is from Energylinx. Price given are averages across regions, rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 1 March 2019.