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Affect Energy was founded in 2016 as a small, independent energy supplier. It was bought by Octopus Energy, although it continues selling energy tariffs under its own name. Read on now to learn more about the supplier and see if it could be a good fit for you.

Better Energy aims to provide a simple, uncomplicated service to its customers. Its tariffs are generally good value for money and are among some of the cheaper deals available. Find out about Better Energy’s tariff prices, reviews and customer service contact.

In March 2019, Brilliant Energy stopped trading and SSE took over all of its customers. In this complete guide to the energy supplier, we explain what this means for all customers and provide up-to-date information on tariffs, final bills, login and contact details.

Bristol Energy was started by Bristol City Council. It aims to supply affordable energy across the UK, while its profits go back into its local community. If the sound of supporting a community by paying your energy bills appeals to you, Bristol Energy could be the answer.

Bulb Energy is a startup based in London and aims to provide green energy without the premiums. A full 100% of its electricity and 10% of its gas come from independent green energy generators in the UK. The company has grown dramatically in recent years and currently supplies over 850,000 homes in the UK. If you’re looking for an ethical company that values customer service, transparent tariffs and which is concerned about the environment, then Bulb Energy might be a good choice.

Click Energy NI is one of five providers that supply electricity to domestic customers in Northern Ireland. Founded in 2015, it offers a wide range of tariffs with three pay monthly plans, three prepayment options, a green business tariff and an energy deal specifically designed for farmers.

Corona Energy is a well established business energy provider in the UK. The company has been operating since 1995, providing gas and electricity to over ten thousand non-residential clients.

Looking for a simple gas tariff? Daligas - one of the UK’s gas only energy suppliers - offers two straightforward gas tariffs, one for domestic customers and one for business customers. Read on for customer reviews, login details, tariff information and more to see if it’s the right gas supplier for you.

E Energy was founded in 2014 by former Economy Energy co-owner Paul Cooke. The Birmingham-based provider offers a 'no-nonsense' approach to prepayment gas and electricity with a focus on keeping costs down.

Ebico is not a well-known name in the UK energy market, but if you want a supplier with a social conscience, it could be the one for you. A not-for-profit provider working hard to help those who struggle to pay their energy bills - whilst also offering 100% green electricity - Ebico is a small energy supplier with big ambitions. Read on to learn more.

Economy Energy was a UK energy supplier that stopped trading in January 2019. Ovo Energy and its prepayment arm, Boost, have now taken over all of its customers. In this guide, we provide final news on the supplier, advice for former customers, and take a look at the company’s reviews, prices and extra services to get more of an idea of why it went bust.

Providing gas and electricity to about 4.9 million residential customers in the UK, EDF Energy is currently the UK’s fourth-biggest energy supplier with 9.6% market share and the largest provider by volume in the nation. However, today’s energy market is increasingly competitive, so what does EDF Energy have to offer the informed consumer? Read on for all the essential information about this Big Six supplier.

Fairerpower is an energy supplier set up by Cheshire East council to supply gas and electricity to Cheshire and Lancashire residents. The supplier works in partnership with Ovo Energy; it sets the tariff while Ovo Energy takes care of supplying and billing.

First Utility is the UK’s largest independent gas and electricity provider outside of the Big Six, with over one million household and business customers. Find out about tariffs, reviews, and prices. If you are already a customer, find out how to login to your online account!

Flow Energy UK was a gas and electricity company based in Ipswich that supplied energy to households across the UK. In 2018 it was bought by Co-op Energy, but tariffs continued to be sold under the Flow Energy name. However, in 2019 Octopus Energy acquired all Flow Energy customers and the supplier stopped trading. Read on for more details on the former provider and information on what happens now for customers.

Founded in 2006, Gazprom Energy is a commercial gas and electricity provider which supplies over 20,000 businesses across the UK and Europe, with clients including McDonalds, Siemens and Chelsea Football Club.

GB Energy Supply was a small, independent UK energy provider that ceased trading in 2016. On its closure, customers were passed on to Co-op Energy. In 2019, a deal between Co-op and Octopus Energy saw former GB Energy Supply customers change hands again and become Octopus Energy customers.

Great North Energy is one of the only not for profit suppliers in the UK. The company is run by Doncaster Council in partnership with Robin Hood Energy. Its main aims are to help residents in Doncaster reduce fuel poverty and help people with rising electricity and fuel prices. It has no paid directors and no shareholders which means that all the profits from the company are reinvested in paying off the start-up loans.

Green Star Energy is a newcomer in the UK energy market. It launched its service to UK residential customers in October 2013 as an expansion of its US holding company; Just Energy Group Plc. With almost 2 million customers across North America, it’s keen to build on its success in the UK, boasting its green energy tariff as “100% renewable and affordable”. But how green and how affordable is it? Customer reviews on cost and service are a mixed bag, so the question remains... Will it retain the success built in the US, or pale in comparison with its UK energy competitors?

Guernsey Electricity is the sole electricity provider and distributor for the bailiwick of Guernsey. Importing most of its energy from France, the supplier is determined to provide electricity that comes from renewable sources to both domestic and business customers. Read on to find out what more the provider can do for you.

Guernsey Gas is located at The Energy Centre in Guernsey and provides gas services and connection to the inhabitants of the island. On Guernsey, the company goes by the simple moniker "Gas", and in fact, distributes LPG through its systems.

Iresa Energy was once the UK’s cheapest gas and electricity provider. However they have infuriated customers by hiking their monthly direct debits unexpectedly, taking one off payments and has a backlog of complaints to deal with. This prompted Ofgem to intervene, and as a result, Iresa has been forced to continue not taking on any new customers in 2018.

The Jersey Electricity Company or Jersey Electricity is a public limited company which is the sole provider for electricity in Jersey.

A descendant of one of the Channel Islands’ original gas companies, the Jersey Gas Light Company Limited, Jersey Gas has been distributing gas to the island’s homes and businesses for almost 200 years.

Lumo Energy UK began life as a price comparison website designed to help customers find the best deal on the market. It now offers its own dual fuel energy tariff, which is managed through its mobile app and customers online accounts. Lumo Energy is an exclusively online energy supplier.

M&S Energy partners with Octopus Energy through what's called a 'white-label' agreement to provide gas and electricity to domestic customers. The company claims to offer ‘feel-great energy’ that is affordable and 100% renewable.

Manx utilities are one of the leading providers of electricity and gas on the Isle of Man. They source energy inputs via three independent supply chains; natural gas, liquid fuel and electricity imports. They also generate electricity on Island and also procure electricity using an AC power interconnector marine cable. The company provides natural gas via gas pipelines.

Nabuh Energy is a Sheffield based gas and electricity supplier that entered the market in 2018. While it focuses on tariffs for prepayment meters, it also offers a few direct debit fixed-rate tariffs. It aims to save customers money and offer some of the cheapest prepayment tariffs in the UK.

OneSelect Energy, which entered the UK market having begun life in the Netherlands as Energieflex in 2014, is a now-defunct provider whose customers were transferred over to Together Energy in 2018.

Opus Energy is the all-green business energy provider supplying gas and electricity to over 340,000 business premises across the UK. Find out about Opus Energy’s tariffs and services, how it compares to other business providers and how its customers rate it.

Our Power, which was established in 2016 with backing from the Scottish government, was the first UK energy supplier to operate on a non-profit basis. It went bust at the beginning of 2019.

Preston based energy supplier PFP Energy focuses on keeping its bills and tariffs simple for its customers. Offering a fixed-rate, variable-rate and prepayment tariff, as well a variety of business energy tariffs, it’s suitable for a wide range of customers.

Power NI is the chief electricity supplier in Northern Ireland, covering around 60% of its internal domestic market - that’s a little under half a million customers - and having operated nigh on 90 years.

Powergen was one of the first energy companies to enter the newly deregulated energy market in 1989. Once a household name, the Powergen brand has long since been replaced after it was purchased by another provider in 2002.

Powershop have migrated from New Zealand and plan to completely change the way you think about your gas and electricity bill. This Birmingham based supplier claims to put your power back into your hands -both literally and metaphorically.

Robin Hood Energy is a not-for-profit energy provider owned and operated by Nottingham City Council. It was set up by the council in September 2015 in order to reduce fuel poverty by operating without frills and having no executives or shareholders to pay bonuses to, thus being able to pass on savings directly to its customers.

Sainsbury's Energy was a partnership between Sainsbury's supermarket the second-largest supermarket chain in the UK, and British Gas. Sainsbury’s claimed that they are entering the utilities market in order to support the UK’s transition to a greener future and help customers reduce carbon emissions. It boasted that it was bringing energy back to the high street. All customers have now been transferred to British Gas.

Shell Energy is a big brand that’s fairly new on the UK energy scene. Taking over First Utility in 2018 and rebranding to become Shell Energy in 2019, the supplier has a big customer base and a well-established service. It offers customers a good range of energy tariffs, lots of smart technology to make your home more efficient and 100% renewable electricity.

Southend-on-Sea, or simply 'Southend' as it is commonly referred to, is a seaside town in Essex. It is situated on the estuary to the River Thames, leading to Central London. Its population is around 181,000. Southend's incumbent suppliers are EDF Energy for electricity and British Gas for gas.

Like many of the utility companies that emerged after 1990, Southern Electric was formed from its area electricity board, ‘Southern Electricity Board’. In 1998, it merged with Scottish Hydro-Electric plc, a company in a very similar situation, to form Scottish and Southern Energy plc, now trading as the shortened, ‘SSE’. SSE are now the UK's largest producer of renewable energy, their production of which, has, however, taken a reported drop.

Spark Energy were a small independent supplier formed in 2007 to address a gap in the market for supplying tenants. They worked with top UK letting agents to try and make the process of moving into rented accomodation as simple and stress free as possible. They supplied over 350,000 homes in the UK until they closed in 2018.

SSE Atlantic was previously known as Scottish and Southern Energy until it was bought by SSE in 2009. SSE is the second largest provider of energy in the UK and also operates as Swalec, Scottish Hydro and Southern Electric. It is classed as one of the big six suppliers in the UK.

Swalec is the South Wales Electricity board supply and distribution company that was bought by SSE in 2000 for £210m. It is now most famous for the stadium in Cardiff which carries its name.

Toto Energy launched in 2016 in Brighton, England. The energy provider ceased trading in October 2019. The provider’s 134,000 customers have already been transferred to a new provider.

USIO Energy was a newcomer to UK energy market who aimed to be the first Energy company in the UK to comply with new directives before smart meters become mandatory in 2020. They were hoping to install smart meters as standard and use 100% green energy.

White Rose Energy is a gas and electricity supplier that only offers tariffs to households in Yorkshire. A not-for-profit organisation, it works hard to reduce fuel poverty and helps residents move away from expensive prepayment tariffs. In this complete White Rose Energy guide, we take a look at reviews, login details, contact information, top up tips, and compare its tariffs and prices.

Zog Energy is an independent gas-only supplier that was founded in 2013. While its name may sound out of this world, Zog was founded by two Queens Award-winning engineers, Andrew Cleveland and Tony Chester, as a response to the bad customer service and high prices that they found in existing utility companies.

Which are the Best and Cheapest Energy Suppliers in the UK?

UK energy suppliers

There are currently 62 energy suppliers operating in Great Britain catering to residential customers across the country, but which one do you choose? For years, the biggest energy suppliers in the land were the unchallenged masters of the energy markets, but that’s all starting to change. Smaller, independent companies are now starting to claw back their share of the market with their cheaper and overall, better tariffs, often with improved customer service. Let’s find out a little bit about the current situation!



The Big Six

The ‘Big Six’ refers to the six gas and electricity companies that currently hold around 74% market share in the UK. For years, they were unchallenged and happy to reign in their ‘oligopoly’. These companies are as follows:

Despite their largely uncontested reign for over 20 years, the stranglehold the Big Six have on the market is starting to crumble. Smaller, independent suppliers are beginning to take back control.

The issue with the Big Six over the years has been that their prices have been able to inflate massively without any great fluctuation in their customer base. As more people become aware of their right to switch, however, they are taking a bigger hit. Independents are getting a reputation for being simpler, quicker, cheaper and in general, better, which is causing huge problems for the bigger companies.

Flame and light bulb

Leave bad service and high prices behind!

Switch to an affordable provider with solid customer service today.

The Big 6 are an unofficial grouping of the UK’s biggest suppliers of electricity and gas. While they still hold an undeniable majority in the UK energy market, their percentage of the market has decreased substantially. In the last five years smaller, newer competitors, like Tonik and Octopus Energy, with cheaper prices and stronger customer service have been able to take more and more of the energy market from the famed Big 6.



Who are the Big Six?

Let's find out more about these giants of UK energy supply controlling most Britons' gas and electricity.

British Gas

British Gas

The largest of the Big Six companies, British Gas, has their roots in the Gas Light & Coke Company, the very first public utilities company in the world. Since then they have been nationalised, then privatised again to eventually form British Gas plc. in 1986.

They began supplying electricity two years later. Decades of marketing, including the famous Tell Sid campaign, has made British Gas a household name within the UK.

British Gas is the biggest energy supplier in the UK. As of Q3 2018, they held 19% of the UK energy market. They supply energy to more than 11 million homes.

British Gas guidesFind our more about their tariff pricing, how they fare in terms of customer service as well as how to contact the right department.

SSE

SSE

SSE (also known as Scottish and Southern Energy) was founded in 1998 from the public sector authorities that previously administered regional energy supply: the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and the Southern Electricity Board. They are the largest producer of renewable energy in the UK. In Q3 2018 they had a 13% market share.

In recent years there was a rumored merger between SSE and npower, but it was ultimately scrapped in late 2018.

SSE in-depth guidesMore information about their tariffs and pricing, how they are rated in terms of customer service as well as the best way to reach SSE directly.

E.ON

Eon

E.ON is the largest investor-owned gas and electricity company in the world. It formed with the merger of two German energy companies, VEBA and VIAG, and began serving British customers after acquiring Powergen.

E.ON has invested largely in social media and renewable energy projects. As of Q3 2018 they held 13% of the UK market share.

E.ON's big six status has been in flux recently with the news E.ON and Npower merger, which could rock the Big Six power balance.

E.ON informationGet in depth analysis of their tariffs, offers and pricing, what the reviews say in terms of customer service as well as how to get in touch.

npower

npower

npower began as part of National Power in 1990. Over a series of separations, mergers and acquisitions, it eventually became the German-owned npower we know today.

The company has a large involvement in the charity sector and a partnership with the Macmillan cancer support trust. As of Q3 2018, they held a 9% market share in the UK. In 2019, npower has merged with E.ON, which, has led to significant job cuts in an attempt to mitigate losses.

npower detailed guidesSelectra has researched npower tariffs, reviews and customer service track-record as well as the best ways to contact this supplier.

EDF Energy

EDF

EDF Energy is owned by the French Electricité de France, who entered the UK market in 1998. EDF was the French national supplier until the relatively recent deregulation of the energy market across the channel.

EDF is both the largest supplier by volume of electricity and the largest producer overall of low-carbon electricity in the UK. They’ve made efforts to engage their local communities with eco-friendly events. In Q3 2018 they supplied 8% of the UK market.

EDF energy reviews and detailsSelectra gives you everything you need to know about EDF tariffs and plans, reviews and ratings based on customer service and the easiest ways to contact them for all your queries.

Scottish Power

scottish power

Scottish Power is now part of the Iberdrola S.A. Group, based in Bilbao, Spain. Just like SSE, Scottish Power traces their roots to earlier regional energy boards. They’re the UK’s largest generator of wind energy and are investing further in renewable energy.

Scottish Power detailsGet accurate information about their own tariffs, reviews of their customer service and account management as well as the fastest ways to get help from Scottish Power for all your queries.


Big 6 market share

The combined market share of the Big 6 remains impressive. According to Ofgem, in Q3 of 2018 they held around 75% of the UK energy market.

Even more impressive is how much of the market they’ve already lost. As recently as 2009, the Big 6 held a full 100% of the market. Much of that loss has happened in the last five years, leading many people in the industry to believe the Big 6 will need to change their tactics to avoid further decline.

How They Conquered the Market

The UK energy sector has a long history of private companies being nationalised, then re-privatised, and merged with foreign companies. This history has given the Big Six a market advantage, which many critics claim is unfair and harms the consumer.

The Big Six are the companies that were able to absorb what had previously been the national gas and electricity boards, which had been state-run regional monopolies. This gave them a huge head start.

Some of the Big Six companies, particularly British Gas, enjoy a long history and strong name recognition in the UK.

As many people find the idea of switching suppliers a daunting one, they’re hesitant to make the switch to a different supplier, even if they could save money in the process. However, this is largely due to large swathes of the British public being misinformed or apathetic with regards to energy.

There are lots of myths about the difficulty of switching energy suppliers: you could lose your energy supply, some suppliers have a less reliable supply of energy, etc. But ultimately, none of those things are true. Switching energy suppliers can be a quick and painless way to save money every month!


Company profits

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While the revenues of Big 6 companies are still much higher than their competitors, their profit margins have begun to decrease over the last few years.

As more customers switched suppliers to get a better deal, recently annual profits fell by 10% to a still whopping £900 million.

More competitive suppliers and more public awareness of different tariff rates have caused many households to switch energy suppliers. This is slowly but surely cutting into the Big 6’s majority of the UK market, which of course has also cut into their profits.


Who owns the Big Six?

It’s worth knowing who ultimately owns the energy suppliers, especially if you’re interested in investing in shares. For example, if you’re interested in buying Scottish Power shares, you’d actually buy shares in Iberdrola, a Spanish multinational.

Although the Big Six are ubiquitous names in the UK energy market, most of them are owned by large foreign multinational energy companies. Only British Gas and SSE are part of British owned companies.

British gas ownership

British Gas is owned by the British Centrica plc, a multinational energy supply company that supplies the UK, Ireland and North America. They’re also the owners of Scottish Gas and Bord Gáis Energy and have recently taken over the Danish company Neas Energy (now named Centrica Energy). Centrica is listed on the London Stock Exchange as CNA.

SSE ownership

SSE (formerly known as Scottish and Southern Energy) does not have a parent company, and is itself the owner of SWALEC, Atlantic and Airtricity, Scottish Hydro, and Southern Electric. It is a Scottish company and trades on the LSE under the name SSE.

Eon details

E.ON (or e·on in their marketing materials) is a holding company based in Essen, Germany. It’s one of the world’s largest investor-owned electric utility companies and supplies energy in over 30 countries. It’s traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as EOAN.

npower owners

npower is currently owned by RWE, a German energy services company. The RWE is traded in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as RWE. After the failed merger with SSE, npower leadership has stated they now plan to merge npower under E.ON, with possible layoffs.

edf energy owners

EDF is owned by Électricité de France, a formerly state-owned electricity supply company in France. EDF entered the UK market with the purchases of SEEBOARD Plc, London Electricity Plc, SWEB Energy Plc, coal and gas power stations and a controlling share in British Energy.

edf energy owners

Scottish Power is owned by the Spanish multinational company Iberdrola. Iberdrola operates in dozens of companies and, in addition to Scottish Power, owns the US energy supplier Avangrid and the Brazilian supplier Elektro Holding. Iberdrola is traded in the Bolsa de Madrid (Spain’s largest stock exchange) as IBE.


Concerns & problems with Big 6 Companies

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Until very recently, virtually all UK households were supplied by one of the Big 6 energy companies. This gave the firms little incentive to lower their prices as in the past up-and-coming brands were too small to make a difference.

There have even been accusations that the Big 6 have colluded. (Collusion is when brands agree, tacitly or explicitly, to keep prices high to maintain higher profits.) But all inquiries have found that their actions were completely legal.

Big 6 companies have also been accused of having deliberately confusing tariff rates and policies, and automatically defaulting customers onto more expensive variable tariff plans. The fact is that some Big Six companies have taken advantage of the British public through confusing pricing and billing practices. With customers finally starting to shop around for more competitive pricing, the Big Six are starting to put resources into improved customer service.


Energy pricing

The biggest mark against the Big Six is their historically high prices. All of the six companies have generally maintained prices significantly higher than their smaller competitors.

More recently, with market share sliding towards newer and more agile energy companies, large gas and electricity providers like EDF and British Gas have begun to create exclusive tariffs for energy comparison services in order to recapture customers with surprisingly good pricing. That's why it's always worth comparing online or over the phone while having a solid understanding of how much you use in your home.

Reviews: Where do the Big Six stand?

Apart from their higher prices, the Big 6 also suffer from low customer satisfaction. Across the board, customers have generally complained of poor customer service, billing issues and problems with their apps and online service. npower in particular has an underwhelming 92% bad rating on Trustpilot.

20 minutes just to get through [...] punted to the 'move in department' [...] no resolve for a simple thing.
Bryn with npower

The one partial exception is EDF, which has a respectable rating and some positive notes on their customer service.

I've found EDF to be helpful [...] their overall performance and contact centre staff are [...] good.
Darren with EDF

Newer Independent Energy Suppliers

There are now over 60 different suppliers of gas and electricity in the UK. Many of the newer arrivals sport lower tariffs and higher rated customer service than the Big Six companies.

Some of the best ranked companies in terms of customer service and value for money are Tonik Energy, Octopus Energy, and Ovo Energy.

Interested in green energy? Companies including Tonik Energy and Bulb guarantee REGO-backed, 100% renewable energy produced electricity tariffs and 5-10% renewable gas tariffs.

If you’re looking for more info on the UK’s smaller energy suppliers, we’ve broken them down in our small suppliers guide.


Why switch providers?

As more and more new energy providers enter the market, consumers are reacting more strongly to higher energy bills. More households are switching away from the Big Six energy companies than ever.

If you’re currently with one of the Big Six Energy companies, there’s a very simple reason to switch: you could be paying less every month, while receiving better service!


Independent suppliers

Now, we’ve seen the big suppliers, but who are these upstarts shaking things up? As mentioned above, there are 62 suppliers currently operating in the British residential energy markets, so apart from the big six companies above, the other 56 would come under this category right here.

A smaller, or independent supplier, in this sense, is one that is not owned by a huge backing of shareholders or, ultimately, who is not as big as the Big Six suppliers mentioned above. To name a few of the largest, here is a list of some of the independents currently operating in Great Britain:

Energy suppliers such as the abovementioned have put a huge emphasis, in general, on renewable energy and as they are not responsible for generation in the majority of cases, they are able to offer this supply at a much cheaper price. See below a trend graph of how independent companies have taken back market share:

It would be possible for the Big Six to offer this level of pricing on their own tariffs, but as they primarily focus on profit margins and generation profitability, they have maintained their highly inflated prices.


So which should you choose?

You’ve heard their names, but who is the best and who is the cheapest? Well, there’s no real answer for that that would stand the course of more than a month or so as prices and satisfaction levels rise and fall constantly. But, at present, we believe that the best deal comes through Tonik Energy. Given their rock bottom prices and sky high customer service levels, we believe that they offer the best possible tariffs at present.

Tonik Energy are an independent British-owned energy supplier that operate from Birmingham. All of their tariffs come with 100% renewable electricity and some even with renewable gas. One of the best attributes is also their top level customer service that has received 5 star reviews across all platforms.

 

Cheapest energy supplier

 

 

 


What to look out for

When you make a comparison of available tariffs, it’s sometimes tempting to just go straight for the first, cheapest tariff you see. It may well be the one you go for in the end, but there are a few things that you should perhaps bear in mind first. Of course, if you switch with Selectra we’ll make sure you’re well aware of these things, but if you go elsewhere, be careful!

Customer service

We’ve all been in the situation - you’re stuck on hold with a terrible outsourced customer service hotline, tearing your hair out hoping to the high heavens that your issue be resolved. Make sure that you don’t get yourself into another one of the situations by choosing a company that has high customer service ratings.

It just so happens that the most popular suppliers in the country have some of the worst satisfaction ratings. Perhaps have a change and go with a smaller supplier that impresses with its customer service levels. Below you can find a list of pages where you will find customer service telephone numbers.

Contract type

The two main contract types for dual fuel are fixed and variable. This refers to your unit rate, the amount you pay per unit of gas or electricity. If you opt for a variable tariff, your unit rate has the potential to rise or fall with wholesale prices and general market conditions, but if you have a fixed tariff, your unit rate will be locked in for your contract length (usually 1 or 2 years).

We recommend that you go for the fixed option. They are generally cheaper and variable tariffs almost always rise in price.

Exit Fees

If you do opt for a fixed tariff and you think they may be the possibility of cancelling before your contract runs out, you should look into the exit fees. These are usually per fuel and will be incurred if you want to cancel your contract before the agreed date.

A standard exit fee will be in the region of £30 per fuel, but vary depending on supplier and tariff. Most suppliers do have them, but some, like EDF Energy, don’t attach exit fees to any of their tariffs.

Renewable energy

If you would like to do your bit for the environment, you can usually opt for a renewable tariff for no extra cost. Most independent suppliers offer 100% renewable tariffs and a couple of the big six do, also. Having your energy delivered through renewable methods is a great way to support the move towards green energy generation.

Although you will not receive it to your home physically due to the common distribution infrastructure, your usage amount will be directly removed from fossil fuel demand. The more people that opt for renewable tariffs, the better our energy mix will become as a whole.


Full list of GB suppliers


How to Choose your New Supplier

Exit fees, dual fuel, variable pricing... to most people, trying to choose a new energy supplier is a confusing process full of unfamiliar jargon. It can make choosing a new supplier out of a list of unknown companies an intimidating and stressful process, even if Martin Lewis makes it look easy. But don’t worry, we’re breaking down the whole procedure to make switching fast, simple and stress-free.


When can I switch my supplier without a penalty?

yellow lightning bolts being swapped for blue lightning bolts

Want to switch your gas or electricity tariff but worried about having to pay an exit fee? We’ve got all the info you need to make sure that - fee or no fee - you’re getting the best deal possible.

First of all, you should make sure you’re current tariff even has an exit fee. Many variable tariffs don’t, so if you’re currently paying into a variable tariff (which we at Selectra don’t recommend) you should be able to switch fee-free.

As a rule, fixed-price tariffs do have an exit fee, but if you switch towards the end of your contract (within the last 49 days), your supplier can’t charge you a fee for switching.

If you are facing an exit fee, that shouldn’t stop you from switching. Most exit fees range from £5 to £30 per fuel (which would be £60 for electricity and gas). This pales in comparison to the hundreds of pounds of potential savings that can be gained by switching to a cheaper provider.


Choosing a Fixed or variable tariff

Whether or not you’re worried about an exit fee, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll opt for a fixed rate or variable tariff.

Not sure about the difference? With a variable tariff, the price of your gas and electricity will change over time in response to various market factors, primarily the market wholesale costs. While a fixed tariff holds a fixed price of energy for a set amount of time.

It’s important to remember that a fixed rate means that the price of energy per kilowatt hour is a fixed price, not that you will pay a fixed amount. Your bill will still depend on the amount of energy you use per month, standing charges, govt levies and more.

Here at Selectra, we recommend to all households that they contract a fixed price tariff. While the initial rate of a variable tariff may be lower than fixed offerings, this is unlikely to continue. The UK energy market is facing several turbulent factors going forward, including the effect of Brexit on the industry.

 

You can find more information on fixed vs. variable tariffs via the link below.


Dual fuel tariffs

Most homes have both electricity and gas connections, and receive both fuels from energy suppliers. Unless you live in an electricity-only household, you have the option of either contracting your gas and electricity separately or bundling them together with a dual fuel tariff.

About 15% of UK households are not connected to the national gas grid. These gasless households have different requirements when it comes to cooking and heating.

a flame next to a lightbulb

What are the benefits of a dual fuel tariff? Principally, to make your life simpler. By choosing one company to supply both your electricity and gas, you’ll receive just one bill and have one point of contact for all potential energy issues.

Many companies also offer a dual fuel discount to their customers, meaning that customers who contract both their gas and electricity with them will pay less than customers who contract their energy separately. Some suppliers' dual fuel tariffs have only one standing charge that covers both electricity and gas for dual fuel customers.


Say goodbye to the Big Six

If you have heard of any energy provider in the UK, it was probably one of the Big Six companies. As the name suggests, they are (by far) the six biggest electricity and gas suppliers in the UK. They currently hold about 75% of the UK market.

If that number sounds impressive, be aware that as recently as 2009 they held a full 100% market share. Since then, their customers have left in droves, leaving the Big Six companies scrambling to adapt to the arrival of new, independent energy suppliers.

In the near future, the Big Six may become the Big Five, as npower will be absorbed by Eon. For several years, npower has suffered customer losses and poor financial results, and the current unification comes after a scrapped merger with SSE.

a masked thief running off with a bag of loot

As of now, none of the Big Six members have been able to compete with smaller suppliers in terms of price or customer service. Big Six companies are generally more expensive and, with the exception of SSE, are known for terrible customer service.

While you may be drawn to the more familiar name of companies like British Gas, it is a much better idea to seek out more information about unknown providers, which are almost certainly able to provide better service along with lower prices.


Energy tariffs: finding the best price

Undoubtedly, the most important part of choosing your provider is finding the best price possible. But with a large number of suppliers, prices differing across regions and different types of payments and government schemes, that’s easier said than done.

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Switch the easy way.

Find the best price for your home’s energy in minutes!

Unless you’re an eagle-eyed energy expert with plenty of time to devote to researching energy tariffs, if you’re looking for the lowest price possible, the best thing to do is to call our energy experts.


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How long does it take to switch?

If you’re worried about how long it will take to switch, don’t! The entire process is quick and simple.

First off, you’ll want to do a bit of research into different energy providers, as well as the energy market in your area. If that sounds intimidating, relax, we’ve got tons of energy guides to help you on every detail. Give yourself between an hour and a couple of days to look into details, depending on how much background information you prefer to have.

Short on time? Our energy experts can help you find the best tariff for your home or business in just a few minutes. And you can use our comparison tool to quickly see everything the market has to offer.

How long will it take to begin service with your new provider after you’ve made the switch? It should take about 21 days. That includes a 14-day ‘cooling off’ period where you can cancel your new contract before it begins.

All in all, the entire process should only take between 20 days and a month, and only takes a few minutes on the phone to get the ball rolling.


Will my energy supply be interrupted?

If you’re preoccupied with thoughts that a switch will cause your electricity or gas supply to be interrupted, you can relax. Your energy supply is guaranteed, regardless of which energy company provides your gas and electricity.

In fact, the only change you’ll notice is that your energy bills will come from a new supplier, and if you switch with Selectra, you can be sure that the cost will go down as well.


How to avoid double billing

Most people considering switching energy providers are nervous about one thing: Having to spend a month or more paying two separate energy providers. So how can you avoid this happening? The easiest way possible: do nothing!

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The idea of being double charged is actually a myth. Once you make the switch, the change-over date where you will be billed by your new supplier is agreed on by both energy companies. That means you won’t be charged by two companies for the same energy usage.

A few independent suppliers and advance pay tariffs will charge you before the start date on your contract, but those bills will be discounted to avoid overpaying.

If you do think you’ve been charged by two companies for the same energy, you should contact the Energy Ombudsman.


Factoring in the fuel mix

First off, what is a fuel mix? It’s the specific mix and percentage of fuel sources for an energy provider. Normally the fuel mix consists of a certain percentage of renewable (or green) energy, natural gas, coal, peat and nuclear power. For example, a provider that provides 100% wind power, such as npower, would have a fuel mix of 100% renewable energy.

Although there are several low cost energy suppliers who supply 100% renewable energy, the national average is still far from 100% green. As you can see in the graph below, the average fuel mix is made up of 41.2% natural gas, 7.6% coal and 20% nuclear power, all of which are non-renewable energy sources.

Luckily for the environment and those of us living in it, AKA everyone, the cost of producing electricity from renewable sources has lowered over time; they’re now on par with the cost of producing electricity from natural gas and other non-renewable sources. This has caused more and more electricity suppliers to provide 100% renewably sourced tariffs.

If the environment is something you care about, be sure to take a look at your potential supplier’s fuel mix. Even if you’re not willing to pay a premium, odds are you can get a low price alongside a green fuel mix.


Collective energy switch - what is it?

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You may have heard of a collective energy switch, but may be unaware of exactly what it is. The basic idea is for a group of energy customers to come together as a group and bargain with energy suppliers collectively to get a special deal for a better contract.

Not just any group of people can do this however, you should only join a collective switch with a trusted intermediary, like a local council or a reputable website like Money Saving Expert. You must be a member of the organisation or site, but that can be as simple as subscribing to an email newsletter.

Why do these intermediary organisations take time to negotiate a better deal? For money, of course! Money Saving Expert for example, is paid £60 per customer, and every customer gets £30 of that amount!

The process of the switch takes about three weeks, but it may take longer to receive the cashback money, around three months.


What if I have a prepayment meter?

If your home has a prepayment gas or electricity meter, you unfortunately will have less options when it comes to finding a new gas and electricity supplier and may be looking at higher prices. This is especially egregious as many prepayment homes are at higher risk for being in fuel poverty.

Some providers, like Toto Energy, have historically had more competitive prices. Still, as tariff rates change over time, the easiest way to be sure you’re not paying too much on your prepayment tariff is by simply giving us a call.


Energy switch cashback and other rewards

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Looking for a cashback reward? Several energy suppliers offer a cash incentive, just for switching to their tariffs!

While some suppliers consistently have a reward program for switches, others offer rewards for a limited time basis.

How much can you earn with an energy switch cashback? Most suppliers or intermediaries offer between £20 and £30 for switching to a dual fuel tariff. They generally offer between £10 and £15 for a single fuel tariff.

While a few extra notes in your wallet is certainly nice, it’s important to not base your decision solely on cashback rewards, as you may end up paying more in the long run with steeper tariffs!

In a different but related scheme, some energy providers offer a referral bonus to their customers. That means that existing customers can earn money by recommending their supplier to friends, family and other acquaintances who ultimately end up switching.


Conclusion

Trying to choose your energy provider from a list of companies you’ve never heard of can seem intimidating. However, switching can save you hundreds of pounds throughout the year and doesn’t have to be a trial.

The important thing is to take the time to do the research, or talk to an expert you can trust. Our energy consultants can help you cut through the nonsense and promotional hype to make sure you get the best tariff possible for your home.

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