Last updated: 3 November 2020
With so many offers of cheap electricity and claims of being the cheapest energy provider, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with choice when searching for a new supplier. There are lots of things you should consider as you compare energy providers, but it goes without saying that most people will be tempted to go for the cheapest energy company they can find. Here’s what to look out for when you compare electricity prices or look for your next energy plan at a competitive price.
Cheap electricity isn’t that hard to find. A quick visit to an energy supplier comparison site will come up with plenty of options and lots of potential savings. But there is always more to consider than just price when you compare electricity - for instance, many people focus on the features of the tariff and the supplier’s customer service credentials as well.
Electricity prices per kWh are the base rates that customers who use electricity are charged. The Energy Saving Trust currently uses 13.86p as an example, but each supplier will charge a different rate per unit (or kWh) of electricity used. The amount customers actually pay will end up being decided by various other factors including the time the electricity was used, the kind of energy plan they're on and their location.
The best way to find the cheapest electricity supplier is by comparison. You can do this yourself by getting specific quotes from each one, or you can use a comparison site that will pull prices from dozens of different suppliers for you to consider.
Switching energy suppliers is a straightforward process, however you choose to switch, but you should be sure to do your research into the companies that take your interest. There’s more to consider than cheap electricity prices when finding a good energy provider for your household.
The cheapest electricity provider for your situation will change frequently, so if you do start looking for a new supplier, keep in mind that you can always switch again in the future.
The UK’s big six energy providers will often have competitive plans that rank among the cheapest energy suppliers at any given time. The vast majority of UK households still opt for one of the nation’s major energy companies:
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE)
With that said, some customers may find that these energy suppliers sometimes fall short on customer service. In terms of Ofgem fines and complaints, the big six will also rank a lot higher than smaller companies, though that is to be expected of energy suppliers with millions of customers compared to smaller providers. Still, if you value customer support then it may be worth looking into online reviews.
It’s one thing to choose the cheapest energy company you can find, but it’s another thing to find the one which is best suited to your needs. Your energy supplier needs to provide a good service at a good price, but it also needs to be there when things go wrong.
When exploring different options, see if an energy supplier can provide help when you might need it most, day or night. Consider the following:
Does it offer an app?
Can you pay online?
Can you call its helpline during the week i.e. beyond 9am – 5pm?
You might also want to think about where your energy comes from when looking for cheap electricity. Green electricity is priced very competitively, and you should be able to find that some of the cheapest electricity suppliers offer 100% renewable energy. You can also look for green gas, but 100% renewable dual fuel plans are often expensive as renewable gas is not cheap to generate.
It’s surprisingly easy to do your bit for the planet while also enjoying cheap electricity. The following companies all offer 100% renewable energy and at a price that is comparable to companies that do not:
If you own an electric vehicle, then some of these green energy providers can also offer cheap electricity for your vehicle.
Finding the perfect energy supplier for you is no small feat. So, with the range of options available and factors to keep in mind, make sure to consider whether a potential energy provider suits your lifestyle as well as your budget.