Energy prices are going up fast – what can I do to reduce the impact, and what should I do if my provider goes bust?
The recent increase in wholesale energy prices has led to some providers going bust. Find out more about what’s happening and what you can do about rising energy prices. If your provider collapses and stops trading, fear not – Ofgem will switch you to a ‘supplier of last resort’. See what happens if your supplier goes bust.
It's time to compare cheap gas and electricity
It’s important to compare energy prices to ensure you’re getting a great deal for your gas and electricity. Whether you’re looking for a dual fuel tariff or separate energy tariffs for your home, we’ll help you compare energy suppliers and find cheap gas and electricity deals.
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You can save by switching, leaving you more money for the things that really matter.
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Great service. Easy to useChantelle1991 • 10/06/21
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What our expert says...
"Having a fixed rate tariff can be helpful for budgeting if your energy use is fairly steady. But remember , a fixed tariff doesn’t mean a fixed bill. If you use more gas and electricity than usual your bill will go up. So whatever tariff you’re on, it’s always worth looking at ways you can save energy around your home."
Sofia Hutson, from the Energy team at Compare the Market
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – SWITCH WITH CONFIDENCE
If you’re finding that you’re using extra energy while being at home more, you might find that now is a good time to switch energy suppliers and save money on your future bills.
Energy suppliers guarantee to maintain your gas and electric supplies while you switch, so you don’t need to worry about getting cut off. To put your mind at ease, and help support you during these uncertain times, we've put together some additional advice in our guide.
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Why should I switch gas and electricity?
There are several reasons why you should consider switching your energy supplier:
Getting a cheaper deal
By comparing energy suppliers each year, you can potentially save hundreds on the cost of your gas and electricity.
You may be unhappy with the service provided by your supplier. With Compare the Market, you can make energy comparisons based on the supplier ratings of all our partners, allowing you to find the best energy supplier for you.
With us, you can find a supplier who uses more renewable energy. It may also save you money.
Whatever your reason, only Compare the Market customers get rewarded for switching by getting a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies*.
How quickly can I compare energy prices?
It doesn’t take long to compare energy prices. And it’s even easier if you’ve got a recent bill to hand to give you more accurate results. Simply enter your details once, and we’ll do all of the legwork for you, bringing you the best energy deals we can offer.
How long does it take to switch energy supplier?
After getting your quick quote through Compare the Market, and completing your online application to move to your new tariff or provider, you can begin the switching process. Your new supplier may reach out to your existing one on your behalf, but be sure to check this to avoid any delays to your new service. This will activate your ‘cooling off’ period, which lasts 14 days. From start to finish, you should expect to be up and running with your new energy supplier in around 21 days, but this may vary.
Find out more about how long it takes to switch energy suppliers.
How much can I save by switching energy suppliers?
Switching your energy supplier regularly is a great way to save on your monthly bills. The energy market is highly competitive and new deals become available on a regular basis. It’s common to forget or put off looking at your energy tariff, which means you can slip onto a more expensive variable tariff without even realising.
Variable tariffs are often the most expensive, which means there are potentially huge savings to be made by switching to a fixed-rate tariff through Compare the Market.
Gas and electricity, or renewable energy?
You can easily narrow your choice of power suppliers and tariffs by considering what’s important to you, and the pros and cons of the available options.
Dual fuel (gas and electricity)
Some people like the ease of getting gas and electricity from one supplier, especially as this can be the cheapest option – with admin savings passed on by the supplier in your bills. Your priority may be simply to opt for the most cost-effective deal you can get or perhaps the longest fixed-price deal for more certainty – even if that means separate suppliers of gas and electricity, and dealing with two separate bills.
For an increasing number of people, the impact of climate change is becoming clearer and preventing it more of a priority. If your energy search is driven by finding greener solutions to reduce your carbon footprint, we can help you find providers who specialise in wind, solar or other renewable sources to offset their carbon usage. It’s harder to find green gas as the UK doesn’t yet produce enough, and renewable energy isn’t always the cheapest option. But as the market grows, prices become ever more competitive and, depending on your green preferences, could still save you money.
Can I compare gas and electricity separately?
About Compare the Market
We know comparing insurance and utilities isn’t much fun. So at Compare the Market it’s all about keeping it simple. We do all the legwork to help you find the right product for you at the right price. And you can trust us to be impartial – we make money when you switch or take out a new product, so it’s in our interests to help you make the right choice. Comparing with us is about the enjoyable stuff too – we love to reward you with Meerkat Meals and Meerkat Movies when you take out selected products with us.*
Good things happen when you Meerkat
Search for the right insurance for you, at the right price, with our comparison service. Plus, we could help you save on broadband, mobile phones, credit cards, mortgages, loans and more.
- See if you can save time and money when you use our helpful tools
- Feel organised when you manage all of your quotes in one place
- Get rewarded with Meerkat Meals and Meerkat Movies when you compare and take out qualifying products*
Helping you is the heart of our business
We make money when we’ve helped you switch or take out a new deal. When you’ve found your new supplier or provider through us, we get a fee or commission from them. The amount we receive doesn’t change the price you pay.
Impartial results from top providers
So you can see our cheapest deals, we order our results from the lowest to highest with no bias towards providers. We work with many of the UK's top providers to find you great deals.
Find out more on our About us page.
Got a question? Contact us
Frequently asked questions
Who is the cheapest energy supplier?
Energy prices change frequently, so it’s hard to pinpoint the cheapest supplier from one day to the next. That’s why it’s always a good idea to regularly compare energy suppliers. We can help you stay on top of the latest deals – especially important when you’re coming to the end of a fixed price tariff. By setting up alerts with AutoSergei, the hard work is done for you. You’ll never have to spend time searching for the most suitable energy deal again.
Which energy supplier is right for me?
That depends on what’s important to you – whether it’s the cheapest, the most helpful customer service, or the most environmentally friendly. By regularly comparing through us, you can make the right choice for you.
What information do I need to switch energy supplier?
To give you an accurate quote, we’ll need to know:
- The name of your current supplier and tariff name
- How much energy you use (in kWh or pounds)
You should find this on a recent bill. If you can’t find the information you need, we can still give you a quote based on estimated usage. Read our guide to understanding your energy bill.
How does switching energy suppliers work?
It doesn’t matter who supplies your gas or electricity – it all comes into your home through the same wires, pipes, ducts and cables. All switching means is that the supplier providing it changes. When you make the decision to switch, your new energy supplier will sort out all the details with your existing supplier.
Switching with us is easy, quick and fuss-free. We ask a few simple questions about your energy use and find suitable, available deals based on your answers. Learn more in our guide to the switching process.
Will my gas and electricity be interrupted if I switch?
Your gas and electricity supply will carry on as normal when you switch energy suppliers. The only thing that changes is where your bills come from.
Gas and electricity come into your home the same way, so there’ll be no break in supply and you can get on with counting your savings.
What is the difference between fixed and variable-rate tariffs?
What is a dual fuel tariff, and why should I consider switching?
With a dual fuel energy tariff, your gas and electricity come from the same supplier. It could save you money and it’s more convenient than dealing with separate suppliers and energy bills. You can compare both dual fuel deals and separate tariffs through us to decide which is suitable for you.
Is it easier to switch gas and electricity together?
Switching dual fuel or switching one energy type on its own are both simple when you use Compare the Market.
If you want to focus on dual fuel, choose the option ‘gas and electricity’ when searching for quotes.
It helps if you have both your latest gas and electricity bill to hand, because the answers to the questions we’ll ask you will be there. If you don’t have a bill, then don’t worry, we can still run a search based on estimations.
Can I switch energy supplier if I owe money?
When you decide to switch and have got the ball rolling with your new supplier, you should settle any outstanding debts. If you have bills that are more than 28 days old, you might find that you can’t change supplier until you’ve paid them. But there are some exceptions to the 28 days. For example, if you’re on a prepayment meter and you have debts of up to £500 on gas and £500 on electricity. The supplier you switch to will take on the debt and you will repay them instead.
I'm moving home. How can I switch gas and electricity?
If you’re moving and your existing deal is a good one, it can be carried over to your new home – just tell your supplier the new address and the move-in date.
On moving day, take a meter reading before you leave and give this to your supplier – that way you can be sure your final bill will only reflect what you’ve used.
Be sure to also take a meter reading at your new home so you won’t be paying for energy used by the previous owner. Check what tariff you’ll be put on by the existing supplier – if it’s a standard variable tariff, you should be able to switch to a cheaper deal without paying an exit fee.
Can I switch energy provider if I rent?
Tenants can switch energy providers if they pay the supplier directly for their gas and electricity. Your landlord may have a ‘preferred supplier’ but this doesn’t affect your right to switch.
If your landlord pays your energy bills, then charges you, choosing the supplier is up to them, although you can always ask them to change to get cheap gas and electricity.
Can I get a smart meter if I switch gas and electricity?
It depends what stage your gas and electricity supplier is in their smart meter programme. Energy suppliers are aiming to install smart meters in 72.18% of homes and small businesses in England, Wales and Scotland by 2023, with the aim of all homes being offered a smart meter by 2025.
The rollout is being managed by individual energy companies. So, you can get a smart meter if your supplier offers it; or you can wait until they contact you. You can switch supplier in order to get one, but you’ll need to make sure it’s really worth switching just to get a piece of fancy tech.
See more about how smart meters work in our guide to smart meters.
How can I find a green energy supplier?
More people are looking for tariffs that source energy from renewable sources – like wind, wave and solar – as alternatives to energy that comes from fossil fuels. When you compare with us, you can choose to see tariffs for 100% renewable electricity.
See more on renewable energy.
Can I still apply for a feed-in-tariff?
Feed-in-tariffs (FITs) are no longer available and have been replaced by the Government’s Smart Export Guarantee.
What is the Smart Export Guarantee?
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) replaced the feed in tariff (FIT). Like the FIT, it pays you for electricity you generate from renewable sources (like wind and solar) that you don’t use. But unlike the FIT, the energy company you supply to decides the prices, rather than Ofgem – so it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal. The company you supply to doesn’t have to be the same one that supplies your energy.
How often do energy prices change?
Energy prices change all the time. They reflect market supply and demand, and fluctuate as a result. They're also affected when wholesale costs change. If you have a standard variable rate tariff, your price per unit of energy used will go up and down with the market.
If you want to know what your unit rates are going to be for a set period of time, you can choose a fixed rate tariff from your energy suppliers.
Where do the energy price comparison figures come from?
When you compare with us, we’ll show you a list of tariffs with potential savings. These are based on Ofgem’s personal projection calculation, which predicts what your energy costs would be for the next year if you stayed with your current provider and tariff. It enables you to compare what you’re paying now with other providers, so you can make an informed choice.
How do personal projections work with fixed tariff plans?
A personal projection estimates what you might pay over the next 12 months, based on your past energy consumption. If you’re coming to the end of a fixed-tariff deal it will take into account the change in price if you move onto the supplier’s variable tariff, so your estimated personal projection might be higher.
How do energy comparison sites make money?
Each time someone switches their gas or electricity tariff through a comparison site, the site gets paid by the new supplier – you don't need to pay anything to the comparison site for your switch.
Find out more about how we get paid by energy suppliers.
How else can I save money on energy?
As well as switching suppliers, you can try to be more energy efficient at home. Even showering for one minute less can reduce your bills in the long run – find out more with our top energy saving tips.
You can also get energy saving advice and information on government home-energy grants from:
See which energy suppliers Compare the Market customers are switching to and from, and what customers in different areas have saved in our monthly Energy Snapshot. It also alerts you to tariffs that are ending, so you can be ready to switch before you face higher unit rates.Read energy snapshot