With oil prices at a record low and energy tariffs following suit, you might have expected the last couple of months to be a prime time to switch. In fact, switching rates in April this year were down 29% as compared with the same month in 2019, and lower than in any April since 2016, according to Energy UK.
But oil prices are already starting to rise again, and energy tariffs with them.
If you’re currently on a standard tariff – the default if you’re not on a specific deal with your existing supplier – then bagging a cheaper fixed-rate tariff this month will mean the amount you pay for units of gas and electricity will stay the same for a year, even if the trend continues towards more expensive tariffs across the energy market.
Keep reading to see the top five cheapest energy deals, the cheapest deals from highly rated providers or compare gas and electricity prices now using Which? Switch, our independent energy comparison website.
You can also phone us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.
Cheapest gas and electricity deals
We’ve found the top five cheapest available energy tariffs, based on the price over 12 months for a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity. The exact amount you spend on gas and electricity, no matter what tariff you’re on, depends on the amount of energy consumed by your household.
Prices also vary by region and the available tariffs will be affected by where you live. Regional variation is currently at an all time high, so keep reading to see if you’re overpaying for gas and electricity based on your location.
We’ve also worked out how much you could save compared with the current price cap, limiting how much suppliers can charge per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity and gas. This is currently set at £1,127 per year for a medium user. With the cheapest tariff on the market right now, you could save £363 compared with the price cap.
Four of the five cheapest deals this month are fixed for a full year, so your prices will be the same for the length of the deal. However, two of these come with exit fees so it will cost you £60 if you spot a deal you like better and decide to switch before the contract is up.
Variable deals don’t have exit fees, but the price can change if the firm decides to increase or decrease its prices – though you must be given 30 days’ notice if it plans to do this.
We compared Great Britain’s cheapest energy tariff, Outfox the Market’s Fix’d 20 11.0 across regions to demonstrate how much your energy bills can vary depending on where you live.
The exact same tariff could cost you £65 more if you live in the South West of England, one of the most expensive energy regions, than if you live in the East Midlands, which is the cheapest.
Cheapest deals from Which? Recommended Providers
Here, we’ve listed the cheapest deals from our three Which? Recommended Providers (WRPs) for energy. These firms are well-regarded by their customers, and managed to pass our rigorous assessment of their procedures and practices, complaints handling and how long they take to respond to customers’ enquiries.
You won’t save quite as much as with the cheapest energy firms on the market, but you can be confident you’ll get the best customer service. Find out more about our criteria for recommending energy firms.
Pure Planet is offering the cheapest deal among our three recommended energy firms at the moment. If you’re on a tariff at the level of the price cap, this will save you £278 per year (based on a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity).
So Energy offers a very similarly priced deal, costing only £5 more a year than Pure Planet’s. The firm takes ‘seasonal payments’, meaning that your direct debit will be higher in winter and lower in summer, but says you can choose equal monthly payments year-round instead.
Savings over a year are around £50 less with Octopus Energy’s cheapest tariff. This year’s highest-scoring WRP, Octopus Energy was one of just two firms to achieve a five-star rating for how it handles complaints.
Which? energy pricing research
Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff available in the regions stated, paying by fixed monthly direct debit, with paperless bills. Energy use is based on Ofgem’s annual average figures for a medium user (12,000kWh gas and 2,900kWh electricity per year).
Data is from Energylinx. Prices given are averages across regions, rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 1 June 2020.