Switching supplier can save you £219 over the next year, and claiming tax relief on your gas and electricity costs while working from home could add a little extra to your savings.
If your job has become home-based owing to coronavirus, you can claim tax relief on £6 per week to help offset the extra heating, lighting and electricity you’ll be using.
The savings aren’t astronomical – adding up to £62 a year for a standard rate tax payer – but every little helps, especially when combined with the savings you can make by switching to one of the cheapest deals around (from a tariff at the level of the energy price cap).
Find out how much you could save on your energy bills. Compare gas and electricity deals using Which? Switch to find the best deal for you.
You can also phone us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.
Top five cheapest gas and electricity deals
The five cheapest energy tariffs on sale now could all save you more than £180 over a year. That’s assuming you’re currently on a tariff costing the maximum allowed under the price cap and based on a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity.
Exactly how much you pay and how much you’ll save by switching depends on how much energy your home and family uses. Prices also vary by region.
|Company||Tariff||Annual price (medium user)||Fixed/ variable||Exit fee||Savings compared with price cap|
|1||Simplicity Energy||2020 Cabbage – paperless||£823||Fixed||£35 per fuel||£219|
|2||Utility Point||Just Join Up 12M Fixed Wk46 – paperless||£832||Fixed||£30 per fuel||£210|
|3||Green||Aspen – paperless||£851||Variable||n/a||£191|
|4||Avro Energy||Simple and SuperPrime – paperless||£855||Fixed||None||£187|
|5||Outfox the Market||Fix’d 20 17.0 – paperless||£857||Fixed||None||£185|
|Prices are based on widely available dual-fuel tariffs for a medium user (Using Ofgem averages of 12,000kWh gas and 2,900kWh electricity), paying by fixed monthly direct debit with paperless bills. Prices are averages across regions, rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 16 November 2020. Simplicity Energy’s deal is not available in north Scotland.|
Four out of five of this month’s cheapest deals are fixed for a year, meaning that your rates will not change until the end of the contract – although the exact amount you’ll pay will depend on how much energy you use.
Two of these tariffs have exit fees. So you’d have to pay £60 or more if you wanted to change to a new supplier or tariff before the end of your contract.
Variable deals, such as the one listed from Green, don’t have exit fees. But the price you pay can change if the energy firm decides to raise or lower its prices. It must give you 30 days’ notice of a price change.
How to claim tax relief on energy bills
If you are working from home because of COVID-19, you might be able to claim tax relief for your extra costs, including heating and extra electricity for lighting or powering your laptop while working.
You can claim tax relief on either:
- £6 per week
- The exact amount of extra costs you have incurred (you’ll need receipts, bills or contracts to prove this).
The amount you’ll make back depends on the rate at which you pay tax. If you are a basic rate taxpayer, you’ll gain £1.20 per week. It’s £2.40 per week if you’re a higher rate taxpayer (40%).
Over a year that adds up to £62 (or £124 if you pay tax at 40%).
You can make the claim online on the government website. If you complete a self-assessment tax return you’ll need to claim as part of that. If your employer is already paying you a tax-free allowance for home working, you cannot claim this relief as well.
Read more advice about your finances and coronavirus.
Which? energy pricing research
Prices are based on widely available dual-fuel tariffs, 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).
Data is from Energylinx. Prices given are averages across regions, rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 16 November 2020.