It's time to compare electricity
Shopping around for a cheaper electricity deal is simpler than you may think and it begins with a quick price comparison. Let us help you compare electricity suppliers so you can find a deal that’s right for you and your home.
Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about comparing electricity deals.
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How to compare electricity with Compare the Market
To compare electricity plans, you just need to input a few of your details to get started. With your postcode and, ideally, using a copy of your existing bill, you can begin finding and comparing deals tailored to your needs. If you don’t have a bill with you, we can still help you get a quote if you let us know your estimated usage, or how much you’re currently paying for your energy.
Then simply tell us whether your home is heated with electricity or gas and if you’re interested in fixed, variable or all types of tariff. Along with an estimated usage, we can compare electricity plans across a range of suppliers to help you find the right tariff to suit your needs.
Find cheaper electricity tariffs and complete the process online or through our specialist energy advisors, and we’ll do the rest.
What information do I need to compare electricity suppliers?
All the information you need to compare prices and switch electricity suppliers can be found on your last bill or in your online account. This includes:
- who your current electricity provider is
- the name of the tariff you’re on
- how you want to pay for your electricity
- your usage (per month or year/ in pounds or kWh)
- the date your existing tariff(s) will expire
Use our guide to understanding your energy bill to find this information. If you don’t have a bill handy, you can still do a comparison based on your answers to our questions, to give you an idea of what’s available.
What do I have to do when I switch electricity supplier?
The great thing about switching electricity suppliers is that almost all the work is done for you. The hardest part is making the decision to switch in the first place. Once you’ve decided, we can help you compare cheaper electricity deals and find a tariff that’s right for you.
You’ll be pleased to know that, once you’ve made your decision, your new electricity supplier will handle almost everything. They’ll tell your existing supplier you’re leaving and then work out the day of the changeover with them.
You’ll receive all your correspondence via email or in the post, confirming your new tariff and payment details. You just need to make sure it’s all correct. You also get a 14-day cooling off period, so if you change your mind in that time, it’s no problem.
On the day of the switch, you’ll need to take a meter reading for your old supplier, so they can send you a final bill.
From the Energy team
“Our Energy Snapshot shows there are great savings to be had on energy bills. Switching suppliers could really make a difference, whether you want to switch electricity, gas or both. Start comparing with Compare the Market today.”
What do I need to get a quote?
It can take less than four minutes to compare electricity with us**. Just fill in our online form and we’ll show you a list of suppliers to choose from. It helps if you’ve got your latest bill to hand, but if not, don’t worry – we’ll help you estimate your usage.
We’ll ask you a few questions including:
- What’s your postcode
- Whether you want to compare gas, electricity or both
- Who’s your current supplier
- How much energy do you currently use
**On average it can take less than 4 minutes to complete an energy quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.Start a quote
Why use Compare the Market?
Over 431,224 energy switches were made through Compare the Market in the year up to May 2021.***
92.8% of customers found our energy comparison experience easy or very easy.****
*** For the 12 months ending May 2021, Compare the Market has helped over 431,224 customers to switch energy tariff.
****For the period 1st December 2020 to 31st May 2021, 1,238 people responded to the question “When completing a quote using CtM, how did you find it?” 1,149 responded with ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (92.8%).Start a quote
Frequently asked questions
Why should I switch electricity?
Switching to a cheaper electricity supplier could shave pounds off your bills. But it’s not always about how much hard cash you could save. You might be fed up with poor customer service, or you might want greater visibility of your usage through an app. Or you might want to choose your electricity supplier based on their green credentials, and whether they supply a smart meter.
What is a dual fuel tariff and do I need one?
Dual fuel is where one energy provider supplies both your gas and your electricity.
Getting gas and electricity from one supplier could save you money, and it’s usually more convenient to be billed by one provider, rather than two. It means less paperwork and if there’s a problem, you only need to contact one supplier. Find out more in our Dual fuel energy guide.
Am I eligible for Warm Home Discount?
This usually depends on your income and whether you receive a certain type of Pension Credit. Your supplier needs to be part of the discount scheme and your name (or that of your partner’s) needs to be on the bill.
Find out more about the scheme and how it works in our guide to the Warm Home Discount.
I’m a tenant. Can I switch electricity supplier?
Tenants can switch electricity suppliers if they pay their energy bills and are named on the account. One exception is tenants whose landlords pay their bills for them. If you have all-inclusive bills with your tenancy agreement, or your landlord re-bills you for your energy use, they choose the electricity supplier. You can ask them to change it, but they’re not under any obligation to.
If your landlord has a preferred electricity supplier, you have the right to switch during your tenancy.
I’m on a fixed-rate contract. Can I still switch?
If you’re on a fixed rate tariff with your current supplier, check to see if there’s an exit fee for leaving the contract early. If there is, you’ll need to factor this cost into your price comparison as it could swallow up some of the potential savings. If you can supply your tariff name when you get a quote, we can display your tariff exit fees when showing you the savings you could make.
Under Ofgem’s standards of conduct, energy firms must give you a minimum of 42 days - and as many as 49 days’ - notice of your tariff ending. You can use this time to decide whether to stick with them, or switch.
It’s worth noting that you can switch for free with no exit fee being payable, once you’ve reached the final 49 days of your contract.
What about switching with a pre-payment meter?
You can switch electricity supplier if you have a pre-payment meter, whether you rent or not. If you’re a tenant and you change suppliers, your landlord might ask you to change back at the end of your tenancy.
If you’d prefer to stay on a pre-payment meter, you can still switch to a new electricity supplier. Many energy suppliers have pre-payment tariffs available. But you may find that your choice is more limited, and pre-payment meter tariffs may be more expensive than those for standard meters.
Switching to a standard meter does have considerable benefits. You’ll have access to a wider range of tariffs because competition between energy suppliers is more intense for standard meters. This means you could really benefit from switching between suppliers regularly - potentially securing yourself continually competitive deals to keep your electricity costs low.
Moving from a pre-payment meter to a standard meter may come with a cost, but big energy suppliers may be able to help you switch for free if you meet certain credit criteria.
What are Economy 7 meters?
Economy 7 meters give you access to different electricity rates during the day and night. If you’re on one of these tariffs, you’ll have a special meter. The ‘7’ refers to the number of hours in the day that are classed as off-peak. Any energy used outside of those times is usually charged at a much higher rate.
Economy 7 meters are known as White Meters in Scotland.
What are Economy 10 meters?
Economy 10 meters are similar to Economy 7, providing you with separate rates for electricity use during the day and night. The 10 refers to the daily number of hours that are charged at an off-peak rate. Any electricity use outside of those hours will likely be charged at a significantly higher rate.
To find out more, read our guide to energy tariffs.
I think I need business electricity. Can you help?
Absolutely. The processes for switching domestic electricity and business electricity work in a similar way. See our guide to buying and switching business electricity.
I have solar panels. Can I switch my feed-in-tariff (FIT) too?
You’re free to switch suppliers, but since it’s industry regulator Ofgem that sets the prices for feed-in-tariffs, switching won’t necessarily affect price. Different suppliers may provide better levels of customer service, though.
The supplier that makes your FIT payments doesn’t have to be the same one that provides you with energy, so you can switch either one without affecting the other.
How long will it take to switch electricity supplier?
Once you’ve found the right electricity quote for you with our comparison service, you can complete your application and begin the switching process. How long it takes to switch energy services can vary between suppliers, but those that are part of the Energy Switch Guarantee (all the Big Six suppliers are) will see your energy switched within 21 days.
Will my electricity be cut if I switch supplier?
Your electricity will not be interrupted if you switch to a new supplier - and the Energy switch guarantee makes sure of that.
Regardless of who provides your electricity, it comes into your home through the same wires and cables, so there’s no messing about with equipment. Even on switchover day, there should be no disruption to your service.
Do I need to tell my current supplier?
In most cases, your new supplier will get in touch with your old one for you, meaning they’ll sort the whole thing out and make the whole switch as seamless as possible. However, it’s a good idea to check this when signing up to a new tariff, to avoid any delay in your service switching over.
Do I need to cancel my Direct Debit when I switch electricity supplier?
No, you shouldn’t need to worry about cancelling your Direct Debit to your old supplier. They should send you your final bill and, once you’ve paid it, the Direct Debit should be cancelled automatically.
Can I get a smart electricity meter from my new supplier?
Smart meters are being rolled out across the country and most households should have one by 2024.
Smart meters send the information about your energy use directly to your electricity supplier, so you no longer have to submit readings. Some people think having a smart meter will mean you pay more, but this isn’t the case – they just make sure your bill is always accurate. They can also give you real-time information about energy use, to help you cut your costs.
Find out more in our Smart meter guide.
What is green electricity and can I compare it?
Green electricity comes from renewable sources such as sunlight, wind, water, plants and geothermal heat (which comes from the Earth’s core). You can check suppliers’ green credentials when you compare electricity deals.
How can I get cheap electricity bills?
There are plenty of ways to cut down on your electricity use, which in turn can drive down the cost of your bills. Here are some simple tips that can help you keep costs down:
- Energy saving bulbs – a simple switch that, once done, does all the saving for you
- Switch from a bath to a shower – this saves time, water and the energy to heat it
- Don’t tumble dry clothes – drying clothes on a line is completely free
Compare electricity prices
We offer impartial and independent comparison from a range of electricity providers. Just give us a few details about your energy use and current tariff, and we’ll give you a list of competitive quotes to choose from. Our comparison service is quick and easy to use.