Saveonenergy explains how to read your electricity meter and make sure you don't pay more than you need to for your energy.
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In the UK, there are around four million households which do not use mains gas for heating. Just over half of all of those non-gas households use electricity as their primary heating source, meaning there’s a large market for suppliers offering electricity-only tariffs.
One of the main benefits of electricity-only tariffs is the fact that they can be applied to practically any household regardless of how it uses its energy. For instance, an electricity-only tariff can be used with an Economy 7 meter to allow customers to take advantage of lower prices at night, or a prepayment meter so they know they’re paying for what they use. This gives potential customers maximum flexibility and the ability to make the best decision for their home and bank balance when they compare electricity.
Fixed electricity tariffs are tariffs where the price that customers can expect to pay is fixed for however long the tariff is set for. However, it’s important that they keep an eye on the end date of the plan, as it’s likely that they will be rolled onto the supplier’s variable electricity tariff when it finishes, which will usually see them paying much more than they previously were.
If customers aren’t concerned about the possibility of their electricity prices being subject to change at any time, variable tariffs could be a good option. However, these tariffs are generally among the most expensive on any supplier’s roster of available deals, so most customers would be better off finding a fixed electricity-only deal to switch to.
If customers want a green electricity-only tariff, they should be able to find one fairly easily across a range of suppliers, from household names to smaller start-ups. Green energy does tend to refer to electricity as opposed to gas, with 100% green electricity usually meaning exactly that. Green electricity is derived from a range of different sources, from hydropower to wind turbines to solar panels.
Customers with prepayment meters can also sign up to electricity-only tariffs. This simply means that electricity is paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis, with customers required to top up the meter when it runs out. This can be annoying to do on a regular basis, but at least ensures that customers only pay for what they use.
Economy 7 customers are also eligible for electricity-only tariffs. They will simply pay a lower price for electricity usage during the night hours than they do during the day, which can be a cost-effective way of washing clothes, running the dishwasher and so on.
Electricity comparison won’t bring out the same results for everyone - each customer may find that the electricity supplier which is right for them is different for someone else. You might choose an electricity supplier because it has a strong customer service record, or because it’s offering the cheapest deal that you’ve seen, or because it has a good reputation for providing green energy. You might be tempted by incentives or by the fact that a deal from one of the electricity providers doesn’t have any exit fees in the event that you decide you want to leave it early.
It’s quick and easy to compare electricity suppliers. Use the filters that should be available on any price comparison website to narrow down the options according to what most appeals to you about signing up to an electricity-only deal. You should then be able to make an easier, better-informed decision than you might have previously thought.
Electricity-only tariffs aren’t necessarily more expensive than dual fuel tariffs. In some cases, they will be cheaper, but this will depend on a range of factors that can change from customer to customer, including where you live and how much energy you use. Suppliers charge electricity prices per kWh, which sets the rate per unit of electricity you use (though your final bill will be determined by the amount of electricity you actually use). The best thing to do is always run a comparison using the most accurate information you can to find the best electricity prices.
It’s easy to compare electricity prices. If you want to switch to a cheap electricity-only tariff, most price comparison websites will ask if you use gas in your home when you enter your details at the start of the comparison process. When you select “no”, you’ll only be shown electricity quotes. From there, you just need to select the one that best meets your needs and budget. The electric prices will naturally vary depending on where you live and what your requirements are.