All the providers
Utility Warehouse brands itself the nation’s most trusted utility supplier. Spending no money on advertising and instead relying on word-of-mouth through its partnership scheme, which has come under criticism from some corners of the media, it has still managed to attract more than 650,000 customers to sign up.
Sainsbury's Energy is a partnership between Sainsbury's and E.ON Next. Find out if it's worth picking up some energy as well as your weekly shop from this supplier.
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.
SSE is one of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers. In addition to supporting renewable energy and community events, they’re known for competitive energy pricing and offering a complete set of adjacent services to their customers. But do they really deserve the hype? Read on to find out.
- Électricité verte standard (garanties d’origines)
Coop Energy claims to be a different type of electricity and gas supplier. Unlike other UK energy companies, Coop (also known as Cooperative Energy) is part of a larger Cooperative, meaning the company is owned by coop members.
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.
Scottish Power has been around for decades and is one of the most established energy providers in the UK. With a wide range of tariffs, an extensive amount of extra services and energy grants to help customers who struggle to pay their bills, the energy giant goes far beyond just offering energy deals
Igloo Energy is an energy company from Southampton which has been designed for digital natives and which works in harmony with your phone to make managing your energy easier.
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.
Want an energy supplier that puts people and the planet first? What about one that plans to return 75% of its profit back to its members? People’s Energy could be just what you are looking for!
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.
With a wide range of tariffs, competitive prices, 100% renewable electricity, and award-winning customer service, is Octopus Energy worth switching to?
As a relatively new energy supplier, Utility Point claims to offer clear and affordable pricing. Since launching in 2017, the supplier's customer base has grown to over 100,000. This Poole-based energy supplier is determined to be recognised for its efficiency and dedication.
Pure Planet Energy is a recent energy company created by the team that founded Virgin Mobile. They are an energy company that uses 100% renewable energy and 100% carbon offset gas. It is also a digital-only energy supplier in the UK.
Together Energy is a young but fast-growing Scottish energy company, supplying over 150,000 customers across the UK.
Npower is now part of the E.ON group. Customers are gradually being moved over to E.ON Next - a subsidiary of E.ON.
Orbit Energy launched in 2017. It now suppliers renewable gas and electricity to customers across Great Britain.
- Électricité verte standard (garanties d’origines)
- 100% online
Avro Energy aims to cut the fancy phrases and offer a cheap and simple service. Its prices consistently rank as some of the cheapest on the market.
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.
Green Energy UK is the first energy provider to supply renewable electricity and green gas.
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.
Utilita is an independent supplier specialising in prepayment energy. As of May 2021 the provider holds a 2.7% market share and supplies gas and electricity to around 800,000 customers throughout the UK.
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 poor customer service and high prices that they found in existing utility companies.
Zebra Power is an independent energy supplier based in Manchester, England. Having only started trading in 2016, it has already made quite a name for itself, having a regular spot in the cheapest tariffs on the market. It has had a name change over the past couple of years, having started its operations under the name ‘Bor Energy’.
Affect Energy was bought by Octopus Energy in 2018. The supplier continues to operate and sell energy tariffs under the Affect Energy brand name.
Based in London, So Energy is a 100% green independent energy supplier which began operating in the UK in 2015. So Energy UK believes energy companies can be simple, honest and offer good value to customers.
Launched in 2009 and with a focus on clean energy, Bristol-based Ovo Energy is the UK’s biggest independent energy supplier. After acquiring Economy Energy and SSE’s home energy business in 2019, Ovo has become a larger player in the UK energy sector.
Boost Energy is one of the only suppliers in the UK that only sells pay-as-you-go tariffs. Started in 2017 as part of the OVO Energy family, it offers traditional prepayment tariffs as well as smart meter prepayment plans that you can top up online, by text, in a PayPoint store or via the handy mobile app.
Ecotricity is the world’s first green energy company. Founded in 1996 with just a single windmill, it now supplies green gas and electricity to customers all around the UK.
Although belonging to a Europe-wide energy group, Enstroga operates as a small, independent energy provider in the UK.
Providing gas and electricity to about 12 million households in the United Kingdom, British Gas is unquestionably the nation’s largest energy provider. Here we take a look at what British Gas has to offer in the increasingly competitive world of supplying energy.
Good Energy has a history of pioneering green-first approaches to energy sourcing and supply, being the first to provide 100% renewable energy.
German-owned E.ON is a large gas and electricity suppliers to households and businesses across the UK and abroad. They're the most significant investor-owned energy company in the world.
EDF is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in the UK and operates several power stations. Find out if EDF Energy is the best energy supplier for you.
Since its launch in 2017, Outfox the Market has promised to help customers save money on their energy bills while reducing their carbon footprint. Is it worth signing up with them? Read on and you’ll be able to decide for yourself.
With more than 50 domestic energy providers in the UK, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, with so many providers, it can also be difficult to decide which is the best one for your home. In this guide, we analyse the different gas and electric suppliers in the UK so that you can make an informed decision about which one to switch to.
Energy Providers: A Brief History
According to the latest report from energy regulator Ofgem, there are 55 domestic energy providers in Great Britain as of the third quarter of 2020. These gas and electric suppliers can be broken down into the following categories:
- Dual-fuel energy providers (both gas and electricity) — 48 companies
- Electricity-only providers — two companies
- Gas-only providers — five companies
Let’s have a brief look at how these gas and electric suppliers came to be.[block:energy_compare_content2]
The electricity sector was privatised in Great Britain in the early 1990s.The aim was to promote competition among companies and protect consumers’ interests. By 2005, just six electricity providers (known as the Big Six) supplied 99% of households.
This hold of 99% of the electricity market lasted until 2014 when smaller energy companies first started to come to the fore. In the years that followed, these smaller companies have continued to enter the market. One provider, OVO Energy, even acquired one of the original Big Six providers in January 2020.
For the third quarter of 2020, energy regulator Ofgem reported the electricity market shares as follows:
Note that Npower has since been absorbed by the Eon Group. All Npower customers will be transferred to Eon Next (a subsidiary of Eon) over the coming months. This acquisition makes Eon the second-largest electricity supplier in Great Britain, just behind British Gas.
National gas supplier British Gas was created in 1972. It was then privatised in 1986 under Margaret Thatcher. The 'Tell Sid' campaign encouraged individuals to buy shares in the company. With an IPO of 135p per share, British Gas was valued at £9 billion. At the time, this was the highest equity offering ever.
The same Big Six energy companies emerged to dominate the gas market in the UK. As with the electricity market, these gas companies supplied 99% of the gas market share until 2014. As of the third quarter of 2020, there are 53 gas providers in Great Britain. We display their market shares in the chart below.
Who are the Big Six energy providers?
The term ‘Big Six’ is used to describe Britain’s six largest energy companies. Traditionally, the Big Six energy providers consisted of the following companies:
- British Gas
- Scottish Power
These Big Six energy providers dominated the energy market until the end of 2019. In 2005, they held a combined market share across both the gas and electricity markets of 100%. In the third quarter of 2019, they had a combined electricity market share of 70% and a combined gas market share of 69% in Great Britain.
At the end of 2019, Npower was acquired by fellow Big Six provider Eon. In January 2020, SSE was acquired by OVO Energy.
There are now seven major players in the GB energy market. These companies all have more than 5% of both the electricity and gas market shares. In descending order, the following energy providers are currently Britain’s largest suppliers.
Who are the cheapest energy suppliers?
The Big Six energy providers aren’t known for supplying the best prices. You can often get a better deal with a smaller supplier.
In order to get the best deal, you’ll need to pay for your energy via direct debit. If you pay on receipt of a bill, you won’t need to have a new meter installed. If you need help switching from a prepayment meter, check out our guide on how to switch to a credit meter.
In the following table, we’ve listed the suppliers with the cheapest tariffs. Calculations are based on a medium-sized home in London with average consumption levels, which is 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas. All of these tariffs have a direct debit payment method.
|Supplier||Tariff||Monthly Cost||Annual Cost|
|Orbit Energy||Spring Vari-Save v2||£82.04||£984|
|Shell Energy||Energy May 2022 v3||£82.08||£985|
|Eon||Fix Online Exclusive v67||£82.23||£987|
|OVO Energy||Better Smart||£82.25||£987|
|British Gas Evolve||Energy Plus Home Protection v13||£82.27||£987|
|Pure Planet||100% Green 12m Fixed Mar21 v2||£82.91||£995|
|Zebra Power||Zebra Fixed Rate April 2022 v1 Paperless||£84.19||£1,010|
|Bristol Energy||BE Simply Green April22||£84.18||£1,010|
|Together Energy||Green Together Fixed April22||£84.59||£1,015|
|So Energy||So Cedar Essential - Green||£85.21||£1,023|
Last updated: April 2021[block:energy_tariffs_content1]
Which are the best-rated energy providers?
While price is often the most important factor people examine when choosing an energy provider, it’s also a good idea to consider the quality of the company’s customer service.
Citizens Advice compares UK energy providers in terms of customer service on a quarterly basis. The organisation rates suppliers across the following categories:
- Average call-wait time
- Number of complaints per 10,000 customers
- Customers that received an accurate bill during the past year
- Bills and statements issued on time
- Switches completed within 21 days
- Customer guarantees
You can find the best-rated energy companies for the first quarter of 2021 in the following table.
|3||Outfox the Market||4.25|
Last update: April 2021
Renewable Electricity Providers
Each year, all energy companies are required to disclose the different fuels from which they source electricity.
Being with a renewable energy supplier does not mean that the actual electricity you consume is 100% renewable. All of the electricity that is generated is put into the same grid before being distributed to individual homes.
According to Ofgems latest fuel mix report (which covers April 2019 through March 2020), the suppliers listed in the following table provide 100% renewable electricity.
|Bristol Energy||Good Energy||London Energy|
|Bulb||Goto Energy||Octopus Energy|
|Co-operative Energy||Green||Outfox the Market|
|Economy 7 Energy||Green Energy UK||Pure Planet|
|Ecotricity||M&S Energy||Shell Energy|
|Foxglove Energy||Hub Energy||So Energy|
Note that Eon (which has acquired Npower) and OVO Energy (which supplies SSE) claim they now provide 100% renewable electricity. The fuel mix information for this most recent period (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021) must be disclosed by 1 October.
Prepayment Energy Providers
There are just over four million households with prepayment meters in Great Britain. This represents about 15% of all households.
When choosing an energy provider, prepayment customers don’t have as many options as customers with credit meters. This is because even though all gas and electric suppliers must provide pay-as-you-go (PAYG) tariffs to current customers with financial difficulties, only providers with more than 50,000 customers are required to offer prepayment plans to new customers.
The following electricity and gas companies offer PAYG tariffs for new customers:
- EDF Energy
- British Gas
- Scottish Power
- Orbit Energy
- London Power
- Shell Energy
- People’s Energy Company
- E Gas and Electricity
Only two energy providers provide prepayment tariffs with a fixed rate: EDF Energy and British Gas. If you’re not on a fixed-rate tariff, you risk the cost of your energy increasing with the wholesale market.
Some energy providers claim that prepayment energy plans are a great way to manage how much you spend. However, these tariffs tend to be much more expensive than the offers for customers that pay either via direct debit or by bill.
Gas and electric suppliers charge more for prepayment tariffs because they require more effort to manage than just simply taking automatic payments each month. For this reason, many small gas and electric suppliers have opted against providing prepayment tariffs at all.
From the following table, you can see that the cheapest PAYG tariff is more than £100 more expensive than the cheapest direct debit tariff per year. Both of the tariffs are provided by Orbit Energy.
|Cheapest direct debit tariff||£984 per year|
|Cheapest prepayment tariff||£1,093 per year|
Business Energy Providers
In addition to domestic energy, there are also several providers that supply business energy. Unlike domestic providers, business energy providers don’t always publish their rates online. You will often need to contact the supplier to get a personalised business quote.
To find the right plan for your business, you can also give us a call here at Selectra on 020 3936 0059 to get a personalised comparison. By doing so, you can make just one phone call instead of having to contact multiple gas and electric suppliers to compare prices.
For more information on the most popular business energy providers, head to their relative guide:
- BES Utilities
- British Gas Business
- British Gas Lite
- Corona Energy
- Gazprom Energy
- Opus Energy
- Pozitive Energy
- Total Gas and Power
- Valda Energy
- Yu Energy
Who is my current energy supplier?
Your energy supplier is the company you pay either your power or gas bill to. You can find out who your energy provider is in the following ways:
- Take a look at your energy bill — You’ve likely received bills (or a welcome pack for prepayment customers) from your energy provider. It’s name should be on the documents.
- Check your email — If you signed up for paperless billing, your provider will send you all your information via email. Try searching for “energy” in your inbox to find an email from your provider.
- Contact your DNO — Your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) varies depending on where you live. Head to our DNO guide to find out who yours is.
- Check your bank statements — Whether its online or paper statements, your energy providers name should appear on your bank statements.
- Speak with an energy expert — Give us a call here at Selectra on 020 3936 0059. One of our energy experts will be able to check the national database to find out who your supplier is.
If you’re still having troubling, head to our dedicated guide on finding your energy supplier.
How do I choose a gas and electricity supplier?
When choosing an energy provider for your home, there are a few different factors we recommend you consider. While some of these factors may seem obvious, others (that are just as important) can easily be overlooked.
- Cost — Is it a good deal? To compare quotes, it’s best to use your own consumption levels. Not sure how much energy you use? Try using our consumption calculator.
- Customer service — Can you count on the energy company to provide high-quality customer support?
- Energy sources — Are you interested in doing your part to help save the planet? Choose an energy provider that supplies 100% renewable energy.
- Exit fees — Will you be charged a fee for terminating your contract early? You may want to find an energy tariff without any exit fees if you’re only planning to stay at the property for a limited time.
Before starting to compare plans, we recommend you establish your priorities so that you can find the best energy provider to suit your needs.