How to choose the best energy company
There are more energy companies to choose from than there are weeks in the year – and new gas and electricity suppliers launch regularly in Great Britain. But the last few years have also seen several energy companies go bust, so picking one from the ever-changing list can be daunting.
Around seven in 10 of us still buy our energy from one of the traditional biggest six suppliers. All of them ranked in the bottom third out of the 35 energy suppliers included in our latest energy companies satisfaction survey.
So there’s every reason to shop around to find an energy supplier to suit you, whether you’re looking for the cheapest deal on the market, renewable energy, great online service, smart meters, a local firm or something else.
Our energy satisfaction survey results are a unique insight into what customers really think of their energy suppliers. You can use this, plus our expert advice, to cut through marketing jargon and money-saving claims to find the best energy suppliers.
Find the best energy company for you
Here you'll find out about energy suppliers which deliver what you want, but you might not have heard of some of them before.
Tell us what’s important to you in an energy supplier in our quiz below.
Or scroll down to find out more about green energy suppliers, firms with an online focus, ones which offer the latest in smart home technology, innovative tariffs, or locally-run gas and electricity suppliers.
Renewable energy companies
A growing number of energy companies, and even more tariffs, brand themselves as ‘green’. But there’s no set definition of what ‘green’ means, so it’s worth checking before you sign up to make sure you’re getting what you expect.
, and are the most longstanding renewable energy companies. They only offer tariffs backed by 100% renewable electricity and supply a proportion of ‘green gas’ (from biomethane). Ecotricity is building a green gas mill. Good Energy buys all of its electricity from more than 1,400 independent renewable generators.
Additionally, some suppliers have begun to invest in carbon reduction or carbon offset schemes for their gas tariffs.
Online energy and smart home technology
Some newer energy firms claim to be digitally focused and pride themselves on slick online service and user-friendly websites.
For example, provides online-only customer services. Boost and Utilita provide top-up for prepayment customers via their apps. ’s online account allows customers to see how much they’re spending on running different types of home appliances.
Most energy companies are now installing smart meters, which should be second-generation meters. They come with an in-home digital display, plus many suppliers also offer an app and online account through which you can see and use your energy use data. Check our to find out what you need to know before you get a smart meter.
Increasing numbers of suppliers are selling smart-home products, or including them free when you sign up to certain tariffs. For example:
- sells smart products from its Hive brands, including smart thermostats, smart plugs, motion sensors, smart light bulbs and home cameras
- sells Nest smart thermostats, as well as smart speakers, video doorbells, plugs and smart lightbulbs from a range of brands
- and sell Tado smart thermostats and smart radiator controls
- sells Honeywell smart thermostats
Energy and broadband bundles
Boiler cover and insurance
Innovative energy tariffs
There used to be a rule that limited energy companies to selling just four different tariffs. Since that was scrapped, increasing numbers of different tariffs are appearing.
Smart tariffs require you to have a smart meter installed. Sometimes they offer a discount compared with a regular meter tariff. Other smart tariffs give lower prices for electricity used at specific times of day.
Green Energy UK and Octopus Energy have offered these smart time-of-use tariffs, but they’re expected to become more widespread as smart meters are rolled out.
Tracker tariffs pass the cost of wholesale energy directly onto the customer. The aim is to make the price you pay for energy much more transparent. When the wholesale cost drops, you’ll see the savings passed on. But if it increases, you’ll pay more too.
also offers an unusual way of buying energy. Customers buy ‘powerpacks' of energy in advance. They’re usually discounted compared with the usual rate, so the idea is that you can save money by buying upfront.
Customers with smart meters can top-up online, using a smartphone app, via text message and point as well as at Paypoint outlets.