How to Compare Energy Prices

Compare

What’s in this guide?

Introduction

Once you have decided that you do want to switch, you’re met with the next problem.

How do I even know where to start?

It might seem overwhelming at first with the sea of energy suppliers out there with many tariffs and offers.

However, this guide will tell you what you need to know about comparing, and how to choose the supplier that’s best for you.

Let’s take a more detailed look.

Why compare?

Why shouldn’t you go with the first supplier that called you, or offered you a seemingly great deal online?

Simply put, because every supplier has their own best interests at heart, so they won’t be unbiased and let you know about all of the competitive tariffs you can find, only about how theirs will save you money.

They may even be telling you the truth, but it’s always best to take control over your situation and make an educated decision, especially as energy bills can be a source of stress and worry for many customers.

That’s why you may have seen comparison websites here and there that will help you make an informed decision about your switch.

For instance, with EnergySeek you can also find guides about the highly rated energy suppliers to let you know even more about what they can offer you and what their customers are saying.

This allows you to compare suppliers not just by how much their tariffs will cost, but also by how they can help you when you have a problem.

What will I need?

To be able to compare suppliers, you need to have some information to hand first that will let you know how much you could be saving.

Your last up to date bill will show you how much you’re currently paying for your energy, so you can compare prices to see how much you could be saving.

It will also tell you when your contract will end, as some suppliers charge an exit fee it’s essential to have an idea of whether you are going to incur that fee or whether you’re coming up to that ‘switching window’.

How to find the right supplier for you

When you’re thinking about switching suppliers, the price is sometimes not the only thing you have to consider. As there’s no one size fits all for suppliers or tariffs, you should think about these points when comparing companies.

  • Are they highly rated on Trustpilot?
  • Do they offer digital account management like an app or online?
  • Do they have both variable and fixed tariffs?

How to find the right tariff for you

As there are hundreds of tariffs out there, it’s best to break down what you are looking for from a tariff and go from there. Perhaps start with asking these questions:

  • Does your tariff include charging you exit fees?
  • Do they offer discounts or perks?
  • Do they offer online account management?
  • Which type of tariff would you prefer?

Fixed

A fixed or ‘capped’ rate tariff means that the cost of your energy per kWh is set, so while your monthly bill might increase or decrease with your usage, you can rest assured that the actual price of the power is the same.

This usually lasts for a set amount of time, so you may see something that says ‘1 yr fixed’ or something similar so that you can fix those costs for that length of time.

A fixed tariff is usually a great idea if you either struggle to budget, or you would like to rest assured that you’ll be paying around the same amount a month, probably by direct debit.

Variable

Variable tariffs mean that the price of your energy increases and decreases with the open market, which is altered by things such as the time of the year, politics and traders that bet on which way the prices are going to go.

Sometimes you can make some significant savings on your monthly bill when the prices decrease (which is usually in summer), however, when it comes to winter you could be looking at a considerable rise in costs, which can often mean that you would lose all the money you saved in the summer.

Prepayment

Being on a prepayment tariff isn’t ideal for most customers because the cheapest prepayment tariff is still more expensive than the cheapest direct debit tariff. It means that you pay for your energy before you use it, which can leave some people with no power if they don’t top up in time.

If you’re not in debt, you should perhaps consider whether prepayment meters are the best options for you.

Moving to a standard meter could save you a lot of money in the long run, plus it would be rare for your energy to suddenly cut out as you’ll be paying monthly.

Contract Lengths

Usually, contract lengths or a ‘term’ apply to only fixed or capped tariffs. This means that you have to stay with your supplier for that amount of time, or you will incur a fee for switching suppliers or tariffs.

If you don’t want to be locked into a contract like that, you could always opt for variable or ‘standard’ tariffs. These do usually allow you to switch at any time, making it a good fit for those who want the freedom of changing suppliers at any time.

If you use most of your energy at night

If you use most of your power at night rather than in the day, for instance, are rarely at home in the day, you can get a ‘multirate’ or economy tariff.

You will pay less for your energy at night, and more in the day.

Often, this is only worthwhile if you deliberately use a lot of energy at night, for instance, you can time your washing machine to start at a specific time so that this expensive appliance could cost a lot less during the economic times.

For instance, those with an Economy7 meter, Octopus Energy has an economy time between 8 pm, and 8 am, saving their customers a lot of money at night.

Top 5 Energy Companies for Price

First of all, the table below will let you know the top 5 energy companies for low prices.

This also includes information about the recent price increases for transparency, so you can see how much the cost has gone up.

Almost every energy supplier has had to increase the costs of their tariffs this year regardless of their size due to rising energy prices.

Supplier Old price New price The difference (£)
Igloo Energy £845 £871 £26
Bulb £855 £878 £24
Pure Planet £860 £908 £48
Bulb £879 £923 £44
Octopus £908 £931 £23

Top 5 Energy Companies for Customer Rating

Secondly, this table will let you know how those same suppliers compare when it comes to customer ratings on Trustpilot.

As you can see, you can also find out if they have cancellation fees or discounts which is very important to some customers.

Supplier Trustpilot
Rating
Discounts
available
Cancellation
Fees
Bulb ★★★★★ None None
Octopus ★★★★★ None None
Igloo Energy ★★★★ 3% reward on credit balances None
Pure Planet ★★★★ £30 dual fuel discount per year None

For more information about energy suppliers, click here.

Conclusion

Are you on the best energy tariff for you and your home?

Have you seen all the options available to you right now?

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see the top energy switching sites and compare.