Dual Fuel Energy: Pros, Cons & How to Switch
Signing up to a dual fuel tariff could be a good way to save money and easily manage your energy bills. We explain what to look out for so that you can be more informed when choosing a dual fuel plan.
What is a Dual Fuel tariff?
Dual fuel energy means that your gas and electricity are both supplied by the same company. On a dual fuel tariff, you receive a combined bill for both gas and electricity, which means less paperwork to deal with. Energy suppliers will often offer discounts for customers signing up to dual fuel contracts, so in addition to being more convenient than paying two separate bills, it could also work out cheaper.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of signing up for both gas and electricity with the same supplier.
What are the benefits of Dual Fuel energy?
Having just one supplier for both your gas and electricity might make things simpler. There are certainly a number of benefits.
- The convenience of having both gas and electricity combined as one bill to pay, rather than two.
- Less paperwork: with a dual fuel contract, you only have to contact one supplier when you have issues, which means one account and only one set of online login information to remember!
- Energy savings: suppliers will often offer discounts for switching both your gas and electricity with them.
Are there any disadvantages?
It’s always worth doing your research, as there could be downsides to choosing the same supplier for both your gas and electricity too, such as:
- If you choose to switch suppliers, you could be expected to pay exit fees for both fuel types.
- Price hikes could apply to both fuels, so if your supplier ups their prices, you could be expected to pay more for both your gas and electricity.
- It can sometimes be cheaper to have separate suppliers for gas and electricity if you shop around. For this reason, you should always compare tariffs before switching to see what suits you best.
What types of tariffs are there?
There are many different types of dual fuel tariff. Some stay the same price for the duration of your contract, some fluctuate depending on market prices and others can change depending on the time of day. Let's take a look at these in a bit more detail.
On a fixed-rate tariff, your unit rate and standing charge are guaranteed for the full length of your contract - usually 12, 18, 24 or 36 months. This type of tariff would help customers to avoid unexpected price increases.
Something to keep in mind when switching supplier is that fixed tariffs often have exit fees of around £30 per fuel.
With variable tariffs, rates can fluctuate with the wholesale market price of energy. What looks like a great deal today may not be tomorrow if the price increases.
Variable tariffs generally do not have exit fees, so customers are typically free to switch to a different tariff if they find a better deal without being penalised.
Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs
These tariffs use special meters and have different rates for electrcity during peak and off-peak hours. In exchange for paying a higher price for electricity during the day, customers can get cheaper rates for either seven hours during the night with Economy 7. Economy 10 plans may also be available with ten hours split between night, afternoon and evening.
Is it difficult to switch to a dual fuel tariff?
It’s a lot easier to switch your energy tariff than you may think. Speak to your chosen supplier directly or through a third-party comparison service. They'll need some basic information, including your postcode and some details from your latest gas and electricity bills, so be sure you have these to hand.
How long does it take?
Switching your energy supplier should take no longer than 21 days. This includes a 14-day cooling-off period, in which you are free to cancel the switch, should you change your mind.
Do I need to install anything?
Although switching energy provider, you will still use the same pipes and equipment. An engineer may drop by if you’re switching from a prepayment meter to direct debit or vice versa, though the cost of any works will usually be covered by your new supplier.
Can I switch to a renewable dual fuel tariff?
Concerned about your carbon footprint?We've teamed up with EcoAct to offer carbon offsetting to compensate. To learn more and offset your own energy usage, visit The Gandhi Project.