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Living room Sergei wondering why lamp isn't working whilst mischievous baby oleg holds thepulled out plug in the background

Energy comparison

Time to switch up your energy bills

  • You could save on your energy bills by switching to a new tariff
  • Compare the latest prices from energy suppliers
  • Enjoy fantastic rewards when you switch through us*

Should I switch energy supplier?

The energy market has been highly volatile of late, so there haven’t been competitive deals around for some time. That’s slowly starting to change though, with new fixed tariffs launching, and you may be able to find deals that are cheaper than the energy price cap.

A typical household energy bill will drop to £1,690 from 1 April 2024 under the new price cap. If you’re on a standard variable tariff – which most people are at the moment – it could be worth looking into your options. But it’s hard to say whether you’ll save money in the long run as prices are still so unpredictable.

How do I compare energy prices?

You can use Compare the Market to compare energy deals simply by typing in your postcode. This will bring up details about your estimated energy spend using industry-wide data. You can update anything that doesn’t look right and then use this information to do an energy comparison.

A results table will appear on screen showing you which energy tariffs could be available to you and how much you could save compared with your current deal.

If you decide the time is right to switch, you’ll need to provide a few details about yourself, including your name, contact number and payment details. The rest is taken care of by your supplier.

Sign up to our switch alerts to know when new deals become available.

How do I know which supplier is right for me?

There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether a supplier is right for you:

  • Is the deal they’re offering below the energy price cap?
  • Do you want to switch to a fixed-rate deal, given the uncertainty about future prices?
  • Does the provider have a good reputation for customer service?
  • What’s the company’s record when it comes to green energy and renewables?
  • Does the provider charge exit fees if you leave a tariff early?

How long will it take to switch energy suppliers?

It should take no longer than five working days to switch energy suppliers under the Energy Switch Guarantee.

What happens when I switch?

Your gas and electricity supply will carry on as normal when you switch energy suppliers. The only thing that changes is where your bills come from.

What if I change my mind about switching?

You’ll have a 14-day cooling-off period starting from when you agree your new contract. You can cancel without a penalty during this time.

Find out how easy it is to switch energy suppliers in our full guide.

What is the energy price cap?

The energy price cap is a limit on the unit rate and standing charge that suppliers can charge for their standard variable tariffs. The cap is set by the UK’s energy regulator Ofgem and reviewed every three months.

The price cap from January to March 2024 was set at £1,928 a year for a typical household. But from 1 April 2024, the new energy price cap will take effect. This will cap energy prices for a typical usage household at:

  • £1,690 for those paying by direct debit.
  • £1,643 for those with a prepayment meter.
  • £1,796 for those who pay their bills every three months by cash or cheque.

However, this doesn’t mean this is the maximum you’ll pay. The cap limits the energy prices suppliers can charge for units of gas and electricity. The size of your bill depends on how much energy you use, where you live and how you pay.

If you use more than the average household, you’ll pay more than the price cap.

The energy price cap doesn’t apply to households in Northern Ireland.

Why are energy prices so high?

The rapid rise in energy prices was driven by a host of factors, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, soaring inflation, a shortage in supply and rising demand after the pandemic. While prices have fallen since their peak in the summer of 2022, they’ve remained high when compared with pre-pandemic levels.

However, the energy price cap set by Ofgem and the government’s Energy Price Guarantee – introduced in October 2022 – prevented energy suppliers from raising prices past a certain point.

Will energy prices go down in 2024?

Ofgem’s latest £1,690 price cap is £238 cheaper than the previous cap and the lowest it’s been for about two years. So, there’s currently a downward trajectory, but that could change.

You can see the recent history of the energy price cap in the table below:

Quarterly update period Price cap level
1 July to 30 September 2023 £1,976
1 October to 31 December 2023 £1,834
1 January to 31 March 2024 £1,928
1 April to 30 June 2024 £1,690

What was the Energy Price Guarantee?

The Energy Price Guarantee discount was introduced in October 2022 to protect households from rocketing prices. 

Customers on prepayment meters got a discount on gas standing charges until the end of March 2024. The discount was applied automatically – you didn’t have to use vouchers or contact your energy supplier. The rate you got varied depending on where you live.

From April 2024, there’ll be no discount. However, Ofgem will bring standing charges for prepayment customers in line with those who pay by direct debit.

How to save on your energy bills in the home

As well as choosing a cheaper tariff, you can also help to cut your bills by reducing the amount of energy you use. Here are five quick wins:

1. Adjust your boiler flow setting
If you have a combi boiler, the default flow temperature is normally set at around 70°C to 80°C. But reducing this to 60°C or lower could save you up to £65 a year.

2. Turn down your thermostat
Dropping the temperature of your heating by just 1°C could save you around £145 a year.

3. Use an air fryer instead of an oven
Air fryers are compact so don’t take as long to heat up as ovens. That means cooking times are considerably reduced.

4. Wash clothes at lower temperatures
Today’s washing detergents are very effective at 30 degrees, so try to avoid washing laundry on a higher setting.

5. Don’t charge your phone overnight
Most smartphones charge fully in under three hours, so you’re wasting energy by plugging them in while you’re asleep.

We’ve put together some more of our best energy tips for keeping gas and electric costs down.

Author image Sajni Shah

What our expert says...

"Soaring energy costs have been making life extremely difficult for many households. However, prices are starting to fall, so hopefully more deals will be coming onto the market soon. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to contact your energy supplier if you’re struggling to see if you’re eligible for help with your energy bills." 

- Sajni Shah, Utilities comparison expert

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What support is available if I’m struggling with my energy bills?

All energy suppliers must have plans in place to help customers who can’t afford to pay their bills. Ofgem rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans you can afford, and you can ask for ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter and can’t top up. There are also grants available to some customers to help with energy bills.

If you’re having difficulties, contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. If you’re worried about what to say, take a look at the MoneyHelper guide to talking to your creditor.

See our guide on what to do if you can’t afford your energy bills.

You should also check that you’re receiving the best energy benefits you’re entitled to, including the Winter Fuel Payment and Warm Home Discount.

Why switch gas and electricity providers?

There are several reasons to compare gas and electric and consider switching your supplier:

Getting a better deal

Carrying out an energy price comparison and evaluating suppliers each year can potentially save you hundreds on the cost of your gas and electricity. Compare the Market is constantly monitoring the energy market to ensure you can get a deal that’s right for you.

Better service

You may be unhappy with the service provided by your supplier. Switching to a supplier with better customer service could fix this.

Greener energy

You might want a supplier that uses more renewable energy.

Which tariff is best for me?

It depends on what you want from an energy deal and your financial situation. There are several types of energy tariffs:

  • Dual fuel – getting gas and electricity from the same supplier can be the cheapest option. It also means you’ll only have one bill to deal with.
  • Green energy – if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you can look at energy suppliers who specialise in wind, solar or other renewable sources to offset their carbon usage.
  • Variable tariff – these tariffs fluctuate according to the market. So if prices go up, you’ll pay more. If they fall, you’ll save.
  • Fixed rate tariff – these tariffs can make budgeting easier as the unit price of energy is fixed for a set period of time.
  • Prepayment energy tariff – as the name suggests, you have to pay in advance for your energy with a prepayment tariff.
  • Economy 7 tariff – an Economy 7 tariff can give you a cheaper rate for electricity during ‘off-peak’ hours, usually at night.

Can I compare gas and electricity quotes separately?

You can compare gas and electric quotes separately or together. While dual fuel is a popular way to keep your energy bundled together, you can also get gas and electricity from different providers.

Can I switch to a better deal?

Suppliers have started to launch new fixed tariffs, but energy prices remain high. At Compare the Market, we’re dedicated to helping you find the right deal for you. Compare today to see if you could find a better energy tariff.

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Frequently asked questions

How often do energy prices change?

Energy prices change all the time. They reflect market supply and demand, and fluctuate as a result. They're also affected when wholesale costs change.

The current Ofgem energy price cap is set every three months, reflecting inflation as well as underlying costs of energy. It caps the unit price of gas and electricity for a typical household with a dual-fuel tariff paying by direct debit. But the amount you pay altogether will still depend on how much energy you use.

What’s the cheapest way to pay for gas and electricity?

The cheapest way to pay your gas and electric bill is usually via direct debit.

Where can I get the cheapest gas and electric?

Shopping around for the cheapest deal can often be the best way to save on gas and electricity. However, there aren’t many deals available to switch to at the moment.

But with wholesale energy prices falling, this is expected to change. This could signal a return of competition in the energy market and a cheapest energy supplier or tariff returning.

What is the difference between fixed and variable-rate tariffs?

Fixed-rate tariffs – the unit cost is fixed and will stay the same for an agreed length of time. 

Variable tariffs – the unit cost can go up or down in line with changes in the wholesale energy market. 

Is it easier to switch gas and electricity together?

Switching dual fuel or switching one energy type on its own are both simple when you use Compare the Market. The only potential complication would be if you’re on a fixed-term contract that hasn’t yet expired, as you may have to pay an exit penalty.

Can I switch energy supplier if I owe money?

If you have bills that are more than 28 days old, you might find that you can’t change energy supplier until you’ve paid them. But there are some exceptions.

For example, if you’re on a prepayment meter and you have debts of up to £500 on gas and £500 on electricity. The energy supplier you switch to will take on the debt and you will repay them instead.

How can I switch gas and electricity when moving home?

If you’re moving house and your existing deal is a good one, your energy supplier might let you move it to your new home – just tell them the new address and the moving-in date.

On moving day, take a meter reading before you leave and give this to your supplier. This way, you can be sure your final bill will only reflect what you’ve used. 

Be sure to also take a meter reading at your new home so you won’t be paying for energy used by the previous owner.

Can I switch energy provider if I rent?

Tenants can switch energy providers if they pay the supplier directly for their gas and electricity.

If your landlord pays your energy bills then charges you, choosing the energy supplier is up to them, although you can always ask them to change to get cheaper gas and electricity.

Can I get a smart meter if I switch gas and electricity?

It depends on what stage your gas and electricity supplier is at in their smart meter programme. The rollout is being managed by individual energy companies. You can ask your current energy supplier for a smart meter and they will let you know if it is possible to get one and when.

Make sure any tariff you switch to is the best energy deal for you – in the past there have been some beneficial tariffs for smart meter users.

How can I find a green energy supplier?

When you compare with us, you’ll be able to see tariffs for 100% renewable energy.

Page last reviewed on 24 APRIL 2024
by Rebecca Goodman