Switching savings are currently the smallest we’ve seen this winter – less than £170 per year. But with our tips you could still knock more than £200 of your energy bill and make it your new year’s resolution to use energy more wisely.
In October, November and December 2020, we found that you could save at least £220 per year by picking the cheapest energy deal. That’s compared with a tariff costing the maximum permitted by the energy price cap, and based on a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity.
But right now, there are no gas and electricity deals which will save you more than £166, according to our January 2021 snapshot.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t switch supplier if you’re currently paying top whack – the saving is still more than the equivalent of one month’s energy bill for many households.
If switching energy supplier is on your 2021 to-do list, our tips can help you top-up your savings, pick an energy firm that suits you better and use less energy to cut your carbon footprint.
Read on to see our tips to save money and energy in 2021, or compare gas and electricity prices using Which? Switch, our independent energy comparison website.
You can also phone us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.
Top five cheapest gas and electricity deals
All of the tariffs below will save you at least £140 on your energy bills per year. That assumes that you’re currently on a tariff that costs the maximum permitted by the price cap and using a medium amount of gas and electricity. It’s also based on paying by monthly direct debit.
How much you pay for energy and the exact amount you could save by switching depends on how much gas and electricity your home and family use. Prices also vary by region.
|Company||Tariff||Annual price (medium user)||Fixed/ variable||Exit fee||Savings compared with the price cap|
|1||Green||Hazelwood – paperless||£876||Variable||n/a||£168|
|2||Simplicity Energy||SimplyLoyal21 – paperless||£880||Fixed||£35 per fuel||£162|
|3||Avro Energy||Simple and SuperPremium – paperless||£885||Fixed||None||£157|
|4||Simplicity Energy||2020Mushroom – paperless||£888||Fixed||£50 per fuel||£154|
|5||Utility Point||Just Join UP 21 12M Fixed Wk01 – paperless||£896||Fixed||£36 per fuel||£146|
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 from Energylinx and are averages across regions, rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 8 December 2020. Simplicity Energy’s deals are not available in north Scotland.
Three of this month’s cheapest deals have exit fees. You have to pay these if you want to switch before the end of your contract (though they don’t apply in the last 49 days).
Simplicity Energy’s 2020Mushroom tariff has some of the priciest exit fees we’ve seen for a while. It’ll cost you £50 per fuel to switch before the deal ends.
Though it’s currently one of the cheapest deals, you’ll need to factor in paying its exit fees if you plan to switch again when you spot a cheaper tariff.
You don’t pay exit fees to move away from variable tariffs, such as Green’s tariff. But the price you pay for gas and electricity can go up and down when the supplier changes its rates. It will give you 30 days’ notice of this however.
Avro Energy’s deal is fixed for 12 months and has no exit fees.
Read more about getting the best energy deal.
Quick ways to use less energy and cut your carbon footprint
Making changes to use less gas and electricity at home doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming. Try these tips to get started:
- Replace old light bulbs – an LED costs around £1.71 to run, saving around £180 over its lifetime compared with an old-style bulb
- Cut draughts by plugging gaps around windows, doors, chimneys, loft hatches and more – it can add up to £20 bill savings per year
- Only heat the rooms you use
- Don’t leave your gadgets on standby – switch them off to save up to £35 per year
- Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they’re full, and use energy-efficient programmes
See more tips to save on energy bills.
Making a greener choice
Cutting your carbon footprint and making more ethical choices may well be on your radar for the year ahead.
Using less gas and electricity is a major way to live more sustainably. You can also consider the green credentials of the electricity and gas you use, and the company from which you buy them.
The majority of energy firms now sell tariffs with 100% renewable electricity. A few also sell renewable gas. When choosing your tariff, check whether you’re getting what you want. Companies take different approaches, including building renewable generation, planting trees to offset customers’ carbon footprint, investing in renewable projects and letting customers vote on the renewable power they buy.
If you’re replacing your heating system, consider renewable heating.
Tips to cut your energy bill
As well as using less energy, there are a few savvy actions you can take to make sure you’re on the best energy deal for you.
If you don’t need paper bills or statements, opt out. You can see digital bills in your online account with your energy company. You’ll sometimes need to pay extra to have them posted.
Paying by direct debit is often the cheapest way to pay, rather than when you receive a bill, or via a top-up or prepayment meter. You’ll usually pay 12 equal amounts, splitting the cost of your energy use over a year. If you have a top-up meter, find out whether a prepayment energy meter is right for you.
Have your energy use over the last year to hand when you switch supplier. You’ll get the most accurate price by using it, and avoid an unexpected bill increase in future.
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 13 January 2021.