Cheapest gas and electricity suppliers 2019
Let’s be honest, you’ve got better things to do with your time than spending hours setting up energy bills. Save yourself time, money and hassle with our guide.
gas electricity bills gas and electricity
Choosing and setting up your gas and electricity gas and electricity provider can feel like a minefield, but there are huge savings up for grabs when it comes to energy bills! 🙂 gas and electricity
Before we review the best energy companies, we’ll share our practical tips on landing the best deal. gas and electricity
8 ways to save money on gas and electricity bills gas and electricity
Don’t pay for the previous tenants’ energy!
On the day you move in, take photos of all meter readings and submit them to the current energy supplier, making it clear you’ve moved in. gas and electricity
If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a bill for energy used before your tenancy started. gas and electricity
The next priority is to switch to a cheaper tariff or supplier (continue reading!). gas and electricity
your gas and electricity prices
The majority of homes will be on a standard variable tariff, which essentially means that when wholesale energy prices go up, so do their bills. gas and electricity
Choosing a fixed tariff protects you fromgas and electricity any price hikes for the duration of the contract, with estimated savings of £150+ a year. gas and electricity
Some tariffs, like EDF’s Blue+ Price Protection (our current top pick), don’t have any cancellation or exit fees either (even on fixed tariffs) giving you the freedom to switch if you find a cheaper supplier.
Go for gas and electricity dual fuel tariff
dual tariff gas and electricity
Not all properties havgg and electricity and electricity e a gas connection, but if you do then it’s usually cheaper to combine both your gas and electricity bills under a dual fuel tariff with a single supplier. gas and electricity
The other benefit is that you’ll save time and hassle by having just one single bill to pay each month, and will be dealing with just one company rather than two. gas and electricity
Choose an onlineonline tariff
Applying for an energy tariff with online-only billing (as opposed to paper billing) could save you around £200 a year. gas and electricity
It also does wonders for keeping your hallway floor tidy! gas and electricity
All of your bills will be handled on your online account, where you can also set up easy monthly payments, which are taken automatically. gas and electricity
Pay by Direct Debit
Paying your bills by Direct Debit could save you a further 10% with some suppliers. gas and electricity
Be aware that when you submit your final meter readings, there might be a difference between the amount of energy used and what you actually paid for. In this case you’ll either have to pay more (debit) or ask for the difference to be refunded (credit). gas and electricity
If you notice when you first move in that you’re paying more than you should be, don’t forget that you’ll likely overpay in summer (when you’re not using the heating much) and underpay in winter, so it should even itself out across the year. gas and electricity
See our best tips on how to split bills with your housemates. gas and electricity
Check your meters
taking meter readings
Credit: Mr ATM – Flickr gas and electricity
The chances are your chosen energy supplier will automatically use the previous tenants’ usage to estimate how much your own monthly payments will be – they’re only legally obliged to read your meter once every two years. gas and electricity
To reduce the risk of paying too much or too little during your contract, submit your own meter readings every three months or so. Just imagine if you were underpaying by £30 a month – that’s a prickly £360 bill at the end of a 12-month contract to unexpectedly have on your plate! We explain how to take readings below. gas and electricity
By 2020, the government plan to roll out Smart Meters as the standard across the country. These will automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier for you, and you’ll be able to keep track of how much energy you’re using through an In Home Display. gas and electricity
Installation is free – just uulontact your energy supplier for more information about how you get one now. gas and electricity
Consider rent with bills included
If you can find accommodation where the rent includes basic bills (gas, electricity, water and internet) then you might be able to get a good deal (as long as the rent is reasonable, of course!). gas and electricity
One perk to this option is that you don’ have to worry about splitting your bills or relying on one housemate to deal with all the utilities. However, the drawback is that you won’t have the credit-building benefits that come with being a good bill-payer. gas and electricity
Plus, while some see this as a green light to use as much gas and electricity as they want without any price repercussions, landlords can charge you extra if your bills start to go crazy, so be careful.
While it saves you the hassle of organising bills, it might not be the cheapest option.
Your landlord will probably overestimate how much energy you’ll use (they don’t want to lose money after all), so you might end up paying more than you need to! Weigh up the pros and cons before you commit.
SWITCH, SWITCH, then switch again
comparing energy bills
Apologies for the capital letters but we cannot stress this enough.
Don’t make the mistake of just sticking with the supplier that the house currently has when you move in – nine times out of ten you’ll be able to switch to a cheaper offer.
Although some energy providers will charge a fee if you leave your contract early, legally you’re now able to leave 42-49 days before your contract officially ends without being charged, so you have no excuse not to shop around a little!
Find out if you could be getting a better deal elsewhere using Energy Helpline.
After more tips? See 11 ways to save on energy.
Best student energy suppliers 2019
EDF Energy (Blue+ Price Protection)
edf energyFor most households, EDF Energy are currently our best buy energy supplier.
They offer great value on gas and electricity tariffs, free smart meters and customer service is good too.
We recommend EDF’s Blue+ Price Protection fixed tariff to avoid suffering price hikes, and there are no cancellation fees (ideal for short term-time tenancy contracts).
EDF also promise that if you find a cheaper supplier they’ll let you switch to that supplier without any exit fees!
Check EDF Energy for your area »
Energy Helpline (comparison site)
energy helplineWe used to try and rank the other energy suppliers, but ultimately the deals depend on your specific circumstances and location.
So now we suggest simply using trusted comparison sites to find the cheapest energy supplier for your area.
Little known EnergyHelpline.com is our favourite when it comes to comparing energy suppliers.
This website is one of the most trusted, transparent and comprehensive comparison sites for gas and electricity tariffs and allows you to complete the whole process in a few steps.
Try EnergyHelpline.com »
How to take meter readings
For those new to managing household bills, energy meters aren’t always the easiest things to read (or find!). If you’re getting a bit stuck, we’re here to guide you through…
There are three types of electricity meter: digital, electronic and dial meters.
Digital electricity meter
Digital meters are essentially just a line of numbers that you read from left to right.
Some might be red (or surrounded in red) – ignore these.
Electronic electricity meter
Electronic meters work in pretty much the exact same way as digital ones, except the numbers are displayed slightly differently and you might have to press a button to make them appear.
Again, read them from left to right and ignore those surrounded by red.
Dial electricity meter
If you have one of these meters, you’ll see a number of dials in a row. Each of these dials runs from 0 to 9, with each dial turning in the opposite direction to the one before.
Read them from left to right, noting down the number the pointer is directed towards.
If the pointer lies between two numbers, chose the lowest number. If it lies between 9 and 0, note down 9 and deduct a number from the dial to the left.
Ignore the very last dial on the right. gas and electricitygas and electricity
Remember, not all houses have a gas supply, so you might not need to worry about a gas meter at all. If you do have one, it will either be a dial or digital meter gas and electricity
Dial gas meter
Just like with dial electricity meters, there will be a series of dials running from 1 to 9, that you have to read from left to right. gas and electricity
Again, if the pointer falls between two numbers, choose the lowest one, and if it falls between 9 and 0, write down 9. gas and electricity
Just make sure to ignore any red dials, any dials marked as 100 per rev, and the largest dial. gas and electricity
Digital gas meters
Read the numbers from left to right, ignoring any that are in red or after the decimal point.
What are Smart Meters? gas and electricity
Smart meters are a new type of intelligent energy meter that the government plan to roll out as the standard across the country by 2020. gas and electricity
These are much easier to read than normal meters, and will make consumers more aware of how much energy they’re using and how to reduce this. gas and electricity
They’re installed by your energy supplier. They’ll contact you to ask whether you would like one installed, and to arrange a time for this to happen (at no extra cost to you). gas and electricity
Here’s a list of their main functions and benefits: gas and electricity
You’ll be able to see how much energy you’re using through an In Home Display (IHD)
The meter will communicate your energy use directly to your supplier – no need to send them your own meter readings gas and electricity
You’ll see real-time energy usage, displayed in pounds and pence
They’ll bring an end to estimated billing – you’ll only ever be billed for energy you actually use
They will make the process of switching suppliers much quicker and easier
You won’t be charged to have a smart meter or IHD installed.
gas and electricity
They work in both prepayment and credit mode. If you do opt for prepayment mode, you’ll have more flexibility on how you top up (you won’t have to head to the local shop), you’ll be able to view your balance on the IHD and you can set it to top up automatically so you don’t run out of electricity at an awkward time. gas and electricity
There’s no legal obligation to have one installed, but if you do get offered one, they’re a great tool for saving money on your energy bills by giving you a much better idea of how much energy you’re using.
As part of the installation process, you’ll be given advice on how to improve your energy efficiency – saving cash and the environment 🙂 gas and electricitygas and electricity