It’s still possible to switch energy suppliers quickly and easily. But if you’re on a prepayment or economy meter, and want to switch to a standard meter, it might take longer to get your service up and running. That’s because if you’re self-isolating your new energy supplier won’t be able to install your meter, and they might be short on service staff. The same goes for smart meter installations.
Energy suppliers are also supporting vulnerable customers. For example, if you’re unable to top up your pre-payment meter because you’re isolating or struggling with your bills.
1. Enter your details – Tell us your postcode, current supplier, your estimated usage and whether you'd like to compare dual fuel, gas-only or electricity-only.
2. Compare tariffs – In less than a minute, you'll be able to see new energy deals compared with your current tariff. You'll also be able to check key facts like exit fees and tariff length, in an easy-to-read comparison table.
3. Switch your tariff – It's up to you to decide which deal's right for you. Until you select one and go through the sign-up process, there's no obligation to switch.
4. Leave the rest to your new supplier – Your new energy provider will sort everything out for you and your switch should be completed in less than three weeks. And don’t worry, your power won’t be cut off at any point. You'll also have a 14 day cooling-off period within this three-week period. That means you'll still have time to change your mind about your energy switch if you want to.
Comparing energy prices is a great way to save money, but it can also be confusing. So here's what you need to know about the different types of energy deals you can choose from.
An SVT is your provider's default tariff and you'll automatically move to this when your deal ends. But it's usually the most expensive option, so if you think your energy bills are too high, it might be because you’re on an SVT and not getting the best deal. Chances are you could save money by comparing energy prices and switching to a new deal.
A fixed rate tariff will set your price for a certain length of time. The standing charge and amount you pay per unit of energy stays the same for the duration of the fixed rate deal, so your bills will only go up or down if you use more or less gas and electricity. It protects you from price increases, but you won't benefit if prices fall.
Prepayment energy tariffs use a prepaid meter in your home, which you'll have to top up. You usually do this with a card or key that you can load with credit online, over the phone, or in local shops.
Dual fuel tariffs cover your gas and electricity. You'll only have to deal with one supplier for both and it could work out cheaper than separate deals. That's not always the case though, so you might want to compare gas and electricity separately as well to get the cheapest energy you can.
Green tariffs use renewable sources, so your energy is environmentally friendly. They won't always be the cheapest deals on offer though, so if price is your main concern they might not be the right product for you.
You'll pay two prices for your electricity on an Economy 7 tariff – one for night time and one for day. You'll need an Economy 7 meter that separately measures seven off-peak hours at night when energy is cheaper. The other 17 hours will be classed as peak time and more expensive.
The cheapest available dual fuel tariff is around £936 a year, according to Ofgem. But how much your energy bills cost will depend on the amount you use and the price your supplier charges. Cut your costs with our top tips:
Don't leave the radiators on while no one's home. Drop the temperature by 1°C to save as much as £60 per year.
Use draught excluders and thicker curtains to keep your home warm and cosy. You may also want to invest in double glazing.
Turn lights off and unplug appliances and chargers when they're not needed.
Replace Halogen bulbs with LEDs they use far less electricity and last longer.
Your washing machine uses around 90% of its energy just heating water.
Newer appliances generally have better energy ratings.
Use a smart meter to keep an eye on how much energy you're using.
When you come to the end of your energy deal, you get moved on to the standard tariff. It’s almost always the most expensive option. So put a reminder on your calendar of when your deal's coming to an end and comparing to see if you can save.
There isn’t generally one supplier who will have the best deal – tariff prices change quite frequently.
Plus, it’s not just about the price you pay. Good customer service and easy switching matter to some people more than others.
If you want accurate bills, read your energy meters regularly and provide your energy supplier(s) with the reading.
Paying for your actual energy usage means you won't pay too much or too little, resulting in a large bill later on. A smart meter can come in handy to help you keep an eye on what you're spending.
Your meters can generally be found on the outside of your property in a meter box, or in the kitchen or hall. Find out what to do if you still can't find your meter.
Yes - tenants have as much right to switch energy supplier as homeowners if they're paying the bills directly. It doesn't matter if it's a prepaid meter or standard. But it's worth having a chat with your landlord or checking your contract first.
You can but you might have to pay an exit fee if it doesn't fall within the cooling-off period or if you're on a fixed tariff.
The energy price cap limits how much an energy provider can charge you for energy if you’re on their standard variable or default tariff. The price cap was introduced by Ofgem and gets revised twice a year, in April and October.
According to Ofgem, the latest cap is £1,138 from 1 April 2021. There’s a separate cap if you’re on a prepayment meter.
You can find out more about the energy cap including prepayment limits by visiting Ofgem.
If you decide to switch to a tariff with us and our partner Energylinx, we receive a small fee from the energy supplier once your cooling off period has ended.
This fee helps us to maintain our website, improve our services and invest in our people, but don't worry, it isn't lumped onto your bill.
Many suppliers impose a standing charge - a fixed charge per day - with the price varying between tariffs and suppliers. Units of gas and electricity are measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and your bill will show the unit rate, in pence, for each kWh of gas or electricity used.
If you have an electricity meter that records the units used at night and day separately, your tariff is likely to be a 'time of use' tariff, typically known as Economy7 or Economy 10 tariffs. On these tariffs, the rate for the electricity you use at night tends to differ from the day rate.
Prices are based on your estimated usage. The price you see is based on the unit cost for the energy, plus the daily standing charge. It makes it easier to get an idea of how much it’ll cost you with each supplier.
Page last reviewed: 05 March 2021
Next review due: 07 May 2021
GoCompare has partnered with Energylinx, part of the GoCompare Group, to help you switch energy. Energylinx Limited is registered in Scotland, registration number: SC244794, registered office: the e Centre, Cooperage Way, Business Village, Alloa, FK10 3LP
Between 1 January to 31 March 2020 at least 51% of customers who provided their usage and received a price for switching both gas and electricity saved £302.30.
According to Ofgem, February 2021. Infographic: Bills, prices and profits.