There are around four million households in the UK who don’t use mains gas – and of those, just over half use electricity to heat their home. Others prefer to combine separate electricity and gas tariffs. In either event, it’s created a large market for suppliers to continue to offer competitive electricity-only tariffs alongside dual fuel deals.
A key benefit of these tariffs is the fact they’re applicable to virtually any household regardless of how it uses its energy. For example, you can combine an electricity tariff with an Economy 7 meter to take advantage of lower electricity prices at night or use it with a prepayment meter when paying for your electricity in advance. This provides you with a wide range of options to help you make the best choice when comparing electricity packages.
Fixed electricity tariffs fix the cost of each unit of electricity you consume during the length of the tariff (typically 12-18 months). It’s crucial you make a note of the plan’s end date, as in most cases you’ll be rolled on to that supplier’s standard variable electricity tariff when it finishes, which usually means you’ll be paying a much higher rate for your electricity than previously.
A variable tariff provides you with flexibility because you’re not usually tied into a lengthy contract. However, they’re usually among the most expensive tariffs on offer from any supplier, as prices can rise and fall without warning. You’re generally better off using an electricity comparison site to find a fixed tariff to switch to.
Those worried about the environmental impact of their energy usage will find renewable energy tariffs available across a range of suppliers, from well-known names to smaller start-ups. Most green packages are now sourced from 100% renewable electricity, derived from a wide range of sources including solar, wind and hydroelectricity.
You can take advantage of electricity-only tariffs even if you pay for electricity on a pay-as-you-go basis using a prepayment meter. The need to constantly top up on a regular basis ensures you only pay for what you use and that you don’t fall into arrears with your energy bills.
Economy 7 customers are also eligible for electricity-only tariffs. They simply pay a lower price for their night-time electricity usage, which can be a cost-effective way of running energy intensive tasks such as washing clothes, running the dishwasher and so on.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to electricity comparison. Your perfect supplier and tariff won’t necessarily be someone else’s. For starters, you may have different priorities: for example, you might be looking for a supplier with a strong customer service record, or one with a good reputation for providing green energy, rather than simply because it’s offering the cheapest deal based on your location and energy consumption. You may be tempted by certain incentives, such as the fact that one electricity provider’s fixed-rate deal doesn’t come with any exit fees giving you the option of leaving it early without incurring a penalty.
It’s quick and easy to compare electricity suppliers. After submitting your details as accurately as possible to a price comparison website, use the filters provided to narrow down the options to show you the best deals based on your individual priorities. This will help you make a better-informed decision without the fuss of checking out each supplier individually.
Not necessarily. In some cases, they may even be cheaper, but again individual circumstances come into play – such as where you live, and how much energy you use. Suppliers charge on a per-kWh basis, which sets the rate per unit of electricity you use. Your final bill is then determined by how much electricity you’ve used at this fixed rate, which is why it’s important to provide accurate information when using an energy comparison website to find the best prices.
To view and compare energy tariffs (including electricity-only options), head over to a price comparison website. When entering your details, be sure to answer “no” when asked if you use gas in your home. This will ensure you’re shown only electricity-only deals. From here, it’s a simple case of selecting the one that meets your needs and budget, then following the prompts to switch.
"I have been [switching] for a few years now for our electric bill (we don't have gas in our village). It takes me about 5 minutes to switch over (it helps having your old suppliers bill to hand as you will need details of meter etc.), and I have saved every year so far! Very easy, user friendly and a smooth process. I would highly recommend to everyone."