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- Track your energy usage and see your estimated running costs
- Read our energy saving tips to meerkat the cost of your bill
- Sign up to our switch alerts and we’ll tell you when new energy deals are available
Who is the cheapest electricity supplier?
The cheapest electricity tariff won’t necessarily be the same for every household, so there’s no definitive answer to this. It will depend on where you live, how much energy you use and the type of meter you have.
Shopping around for a cheaper electricity deal is a good place to start. It’s simpler than you may think and 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 prices, you’ll just need to tell us a few details to get started.
All the information you need to compare plans 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.
Find the right electricity tariff for you and complete the application process online or through our specialist energy advisors, and we’ll do the rest.
The switching process explained
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 how much electricity you use through an app. Or you might want to choose your electricity supplier based on their green credentials, and whether they supply a smart meter.
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 major suppliers are) will see your energy switched within 21 days.
What happens when I switch electricity supplier?
You’ll be pleased to know that once you’ve made the decision to switch, 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.
Will my electricity be cut if I switch supplier?
No, your electricity supply won’t be interrupted if you switch to a new provider – 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 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.
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.
Can I switch electricity supplier with a prepayment meter?
You can switch electricity supplier if you have a prepayment meter, whether you rent or own your home. Many energy suppliers have prepayment tariffs available. But you may find that your choice is limited, and prepayment meter tariffs are usually more expensive than those for standard meters.
Switching to a standard meter has considerable benefits. You’ll have access to a wider range of tariffs because competition between energy suppliers is more intense for standard meters.
Moving from a prepayment 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 our expert says...
“The rise in energy costs has come at a time when many households are struggling with their finances, so it’s more important than ever to save money on electricity if you can. When you sign up for alerts with Compare the Market, we can let you know as soon as a better deal becomes available.”
- Sajni Shah, Utilities comparison expert
What are the different types of electricity tariff?
This is the energy supplier’s default tariff and it’s likely to be their most expensive. The amount you pay for your electricity can fluctuate with a variable tariff. If the market price falls, you’ll pay less, but if it goes up, then so will your bills. At the end of a fixed tariff, you’ll be moved on to the variable tariff if you don’t organise a new fix or switch.
Pros: You’re not tied into a contract
With a fixed rate tariff, the price you pay for each unit of electricity is fixed for a set time. This can help with budgeting if you always use about the same amount of power. Compared with a variable rate, this can save you money if prices go up during the term of the fix, but if they go down you could miss out on possible savings.
Pros: If prices go up, you’re protected
Cons: There may be penalties if you want to switch during the fixed period
Getting your gas and electricity from the same supplier is known as a dual fuel tariff. These can be cheaper than getting them from separate suppliers, but shop around to be sure.
Pros: Can be cheaper than single suppliers
Cons: If service is poor, then it’s a problem for both types of power
Economy 7/Economy 10
These tariffs give you cheaper energy at off-peak times. Economy 7’s cheaper times are midnight to 7am, which might benefit you if you have storage heaters. Economy 10 off-peak hours are spread throughout the day. Read more on the differences between economy 7 and 10 tariffs.
Pros: Good for night owls, shift workers and those with storage heaters
Cons: You may have to switch the time you use appliances to make it economical
Depending on the green tariff you choose, renewable energy is used wholly or in part to power your home, or given to the National Grid based on the energy you use.
Pros: Helps reduce your carbon footprint
Cons: Green tariffs can be more expensive
Prepayment tariffs require you to pay for the electricity you use as you use it. You’ll be given a prepayment meter and a card, key or tokens to top it up.
Pros: You pay for what you use in advance so you can’t end up with a big bill
Cons: Usually more expensive and you can run out of power
See more on the different types of energy tariffs.
Average electricity use by house type
The type and size of property you live in will make a big difference to how much electricity you use.
According to energy regulator Ofgem, the average UK household uses 2,700 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year. Ofgem bases its energy price cap on this, which is the maximum price suppliers can charge households per unit of energy on a standard tariff. If you use more than the average though, you’ll pay more than the price cap.
This table shows average electricity consumption by property size to give you a rough idea of how much you’re likely to use in a year.
|Property type/size||Energy use||Typical annual electricity use (kWh)|
|Flat or one-bedroom house||Low||1,800|
|Two or three-bedroom house||Medium||2,900|
|Property with four or more bedrooms||High||4,100|
 Correct as of August 2023.
Electricity use by appliance type
Home electric appliances can vary wildly in their energy consumption – not only will the amount of power used by a kettle differ from that of an electric oven, but it will also vary between models. And some manufacturers make their goods far more energy efficient than others.
Generally speaking, appliances that heat water or cool things down, like washing machines and fridge-freezers, cost more to run than a vacuum cleaner, for example.
So which appliances cost the most to run? According to the Energy Saving Trust, the top five energy-guzzling home appliances are:
- Wet appliances – washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, largely because of the power needed to heat the water.
- Cold appliances – fridges and freezers, which need to stay on all the time, account for around 13% of an average bill.
- Electrical devices – laptops, TVs and games consoles make up about 6% of an electricity bill.
- Lighting – this accounts for around 5% of your total energy bill.
- Cooking – kitchen appliances including kettles, ovens, hobs and microwaves make up 4% of a typical household energy bill.
How to save on your electricity bill
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:
Know how much you use
Smart meters come with an in-home display, so you can see how much electricity you’re using in real time, identify energy-hungry appliances and get ideas for where to cut back.
Swap to energy-saving lightbulbs
Swapping your halogen lights for LEDs can save pounds on your bills. Just replacing a single bulb for a more energy efficient one could save you up to £5 a year. And, of course, turning off the lights when you’re not in the room can also help.
Choose energy-efficient appliances
If you're in the market for a new washing machine, fridge or other appliance, look for the energy label rating. A is the most energy efficient, while G is the least. New labels were introduced in March 2021 and there are no longer any A+, A++ or A+++ categories, which were overly confusing.
When comparing new appliances, you should look at the estimated energy use as well as the energy rating (A-G). This is because bigger appliances tend to use more energy than smaller ones, even if they have the same rating. When comparing products of different sizes, check the kWh rating – the higher this is, the more it will cost to run.
Use the eco cycle
Using the eco cycle on your dishwasher and washing machine may mean washing takes a little longer, but it’ll save water as well as electricity. Make sure your dishwasher is fully loaded too.
Use a laptop
You may have seen your electricity bills shoot up if you work from home more often now. Using a laptop for your work, rather than a desktop, is a lot more energy efficient. And putting your computer into sleep mode when you’re away from your screen for a while can save electricity too.
Don’t leave appliances on standby
Leaving appliances on standby can add up to around £65 a year. Some satellite and digital TV recorders may need to be left plugged in so they can record programmes, but almost all other electrical devices can be turned off at the plug when they’re not being used.
Don’t tumble dry clothes
Tumble dryers are one of the biggest electricity guzzlers. Drying clothes on racks inside or outdoors on a washing line in warmer weather could save you around £70 a year.
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.
Frequently asked questions
What is a dual fuel tariff and do I need one?
Dual fuel is where one energy provider supplies both your gas and 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 the 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.
Can I still switch if I’m on a fixed rate contract?
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.
Under Ofgem’s standards of conduct, energy firms must give you a minimum of 42 days’ notice of your tariff ending. You can switch for free with no exit fee payable, once you’ve reached the final 49 days of your contract.
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.
The FIT scheme is now closed to new applicants. But if you generate more electricity than you use from your solar panels, you could get paid for it under the Smart Export Guarantee.
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 like 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.