Energy


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A simples guide to energy

Energy snapshot

Our monthly Energy Snapshot is designed to give you the low down on the best energy deals that we’ve found for our customers as well as showing you the average savings you could make if you were to switch today. 

It's time to compare energy

Perhaps not the first thing you might want to do, but, you’ve made it this far. Whether you’re looking for a dual fuel tariff or separate gas and electricity bills, we’ve got you covered.

With a few quick and simple questions, we can start showing you options from energy providers across the UK.

On average our customers could save £200** on their annual energy bill. So it’s worth a little time now.

Frequently thought questions

We all have questions we’d like to ask about comparing energy, but we probably don’t like to ask them out loud for fear of sounding silly (and a bit boring).

So here are the answers to some of questions you might have, but wouldn’t ever ask, about finding an energy deal.

How do 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 – that’s all there is to it.

How quickly can I compare energy prices?

It’s a game of 20 questions and the quicker they can be answered, the quicker the quotes come. Seriously – on average it takes about four minutes to compare energy prices.

That’s right, four minutes, or 240 seconds is all that stands between you and your new energy quote, and that’s on average so it might take longer or less time. But if you like everything now, now, now, then try our Snapt app which can find you comparisons in just a few seconds. All you need is a smartphone and your energy bill – find out how to use Snapt.

How much can I save by switching energy suppliers?

Ofgem’s data shows that on average bill payers who have never switched their energy could save £200**.So there are potentially savings to be had.

At comparethemarket.com, we’ve made it our mission to find you better deals. We worked out that in 2016, we saved customers more than £87 million*** by helping them switch.

How does switching energy provider work?

The switching process is easy, quick and fuss free. We ask a few simple questions about your energy use and based on the answers, we’ll find suitable, available deals – it’s that simple.

When you start a quote, it’s a good idea to have your latest bill handy as all the answers to the questions we ask you, will be in there. But don’t worry about getting stuck on which bits of information you need – we can help you understand your bill.

Once you’ve found some great deals, we can also show you how to make the most of your energy with our energy saving tips.

Which energy suppliers can I compare?

We have an accredited energy partner who puts together available tariffs and works out the potential savings.


Our partner – energyhelpline.com are accredited by industry regulator, Ofgem and when you find a quote that suits your needs, it’s energy helpline, who submit your switch applications to the relevant energy supplier (such as British Gas or npower).

How often do energy prices change?

Energy prices reflect market supply and demand, and prices fluctuate in real time according to this, as well as when wholesale costs change.

Energy providers offer customers a range of tariffs – some are fixed rate which means bill payers know how much their gas or electricity is going to cost them for a certain period of time.

Other tariffs include the ‘standard variable tariff’ which is usually a supplier’s default pricing structure. It means that the cost of your energy can go up or down depending on what the market is doing.

What are the different energy tariff types?

There are many different energy tariffs available such as fixed rate, capped, dual fuel and for the eco warriors out there, there are green tariffs too. These exist alongside what’s known as a ‘standard variable’ tariff which is the name usually given to a supplier’s default pricing structure. Find out more in our simples guide to energy tariffs.

What information do I need to switch energy?

All the information needed to switch energy supplier, can be found on your bill, such as:

- Supplier name
- Tariff name
- Energy consumption – either in kWh (kilowatt hours) or pounds
- Whether your bills are paid monthly or quarterly

If you’re on a fixed rate tariff and decide to leave before it ends, then check to see whether you’ll be charged an exit fee.

It might sound like you need a lot of information to switch, but it can all be found on your bill – it’s just a question of getting to grips with where to find it. For help deciphering your energy bill, read our guide to understanding your bill.

 

Can I switch energy if I rent?

Tenants can switch energy provider if they pay the supplier directly for their gas and electricity. Your landlord may have a ‘preferred supplier’ but this doesn’t prevent your right to switch.

However, if your landlord pays your energy bills and then charges you, then you can’t switch supplier unless they choose to do so.

I have solar panels, can I get an energy feed in tariff?

Feed in tariffs (FITs) are available to anyone who uses one of these renewable or low carbon energy sources:

- Solar photovoltaic (solar PV panels)
- Wind
- Micro combined heat and power (CHP)
- Hydro
- Anaerobic digestion (AD)

You can apply for a feed in tariff through your energy supplier if you have any of these types of energy sources installed at home. So, if you have solar panels on your roof, then you’ll need to contact your energy provider who will advise you on what to do next.

Under the FIT scheme, households can earn money by generating their own power as well as make savings on their energy bills. If your home generates excess energy, then it can be sold back to the electricity grid – giving you money back. Read more ‘frequently thought questions’ on renewables.

Can I get a grant and lowering my energy usage?

The following organisations offer help and advice on reducing your energy use:

- The government’s energy grants calculator can help work out whether you’re eligible for help with your bills such as with the Warm Home Discount scheme. It can also highlight whether you qualify for any funding to make your home more energy efficient.
- The Energy Savings Trust provides advice on renewables (including feed in tariffs), home insulation and energy efficiency.
- The Citizens Advice Bureau provides general advice and can also guide you, should you want to make a complaint about your energy provider.

And of course, we’re here to help too – you can find our top energy saving tips in our interactive home guide. Plus, we can help you unravel the mysteries of your energy statements in our guide to Understanding your bill – because being able to decipher what it all means, could inspire you to switch suppliers and save some cash.

** Based on OFGEM Bills, Prices and Profits, information correct at 30 March 2017. Switching savings based on a customer moving from an average dual fuel direct debit standard variable tariff with one of the six largest suppliers, to the cheapest tariff available in the market.

***Total sum of savings calculated from comparethemarket.com dual fuel customer switches from Jan-Dec 2016