Why should you compare fuel prices?
We all need fuel to power and heat our homes, but if you compare fuel prices with us you might be able to get a better deal and save money.
By making it easy to compare fuel prices and tariffs, we help our customers save money on great new plans or switch suppliers seamlessly.
How do energy prices work?
The price of your energy depends on how much you use, where you live and the type of tariff you’re on. What’s happening in the energy markets will also have an effect: if wholesale prices of gas and electricity go up, then your energy bills will likely go up too - unless you’re on a fixed rate tariff.
Energy providers also factor in things like the cost of transporting fuel, government levies and VAT, as well as their own profit and operating costs, on top of the actual raw cost of the energy.
The source of your energy might also affect prices, especially if you’re on a green tariff where energy comes from renewable sources like wind farms, solar power, hydro power and biomass fuels. In April to June 2020, 44% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources, according to government figures.
So, energy is a competitive market and prices change all the time – which is why a lot of our customers choose a fixed rate tariff to avoid being affected by changing rates in the market.
Frequently asked questions
How is gas and electricity measured?
Electricity and gas companies measure how much fuel you use in kilowatt hours (kWh). Ofgem says the average household uses around 12,000kWh of gas and 2,900kWh of electricity each year – but this will vary depending on the size of your home and the number of people living in it.
Tariffs are generally made up of two charges:
- standing charge – the rate you’re charged per day
- unit rates – the amount you’re charged per kWh for the energy you use. This is influenced by the wholesale price – what the supplier pays for energy.
When you get a quote with us, we work out what combination of standing charges and unit rates is better for you - based on the information you give us about your energy use. We can let you know the costs you’d expect to pay and the savings you’d make.
What tariffs are available when comparing fuel prices?
When you start your comparison with us, you’ll be asked if you’re interested in a:
- Variable rate tariff – flexible tariff, giving you the freedom to leave at any time without having to pay exit fees. But be aware that prices can be higher for this type of tariff and fluctuate wildly depending on what the market is doing – not great if you like to plan and budget. You could go for a capped tariff, which is a type of variable rate tariff. With a capped tariff, the cost of your energy per unit (kWh) won’t go over an agreed amount. Prices can go down as well as up on a variable rate tariff, and the overall cost will depend on how much gas or electricity you use.
- Fixed rate tariff – your standing charge and unit rate is fixed, which can help with budgeting. But your bills can go up or down depending on how much energy you’re using.
Find more about these tariffs and what else is on offer – like online and green tariffs – in our energy tariffs explained guide.
Should I switch fuel supplier to save on my energy bill?
It’s well worth comparing fuel suppliers to see if you can get a better deal on your energy bills. On average, customers could save up to £338** on their annual energy bill by switching fuel supplier – so it can make a real difference.
**Where a saving can be achieved 50% of people could achieve a saving of £338 on their dual fuel energy costs based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.
What is the price cap?
The UK energy price cap is set by Ofgem to make sure you always pay fair prices for your gas and electricity. Energy price caps limit the price your supplier can charge per kWh of gas and electricity if you’re on certain tariffs. But despite the cap, if you fail to shop around for your energy and stay on a standard rate tariff, then you’re likely to miss out on cheaper deals.
Find out more about the energy price cap.
Is dual fuel cheaper?
Dual fuel energy is where you get your gas and electricity from the same supplier. People often think it’s cheaper than buying your gas and electricity from separate suppliers, but this isn’t always true.
Energy prices are constantly changing, so it’s always worth using our comparison service to shop around separately for your gas and electricity, before settling for a dual fuel deal.
That said, it’s definitely easier to deal with one supplier for your gas and electricity bills.
Find out more about dual energy fuel energy.
If I find a good fuel tariff, how do I switch?
Once you’ve compared fuel prices and found a new deal, just read all the information and click to switch online. We’ll then send your details over to the supplier to start the switch process.
Switching can happen in as little as 21 days but can take up to six weeks - and don’t expect your new supplier to get in touch with you in the first 14 days after we’ve submitted your switch application details to them, as you’re still in your cooling-off period and can change your mind about the switch. Whoever supplies your fuel will use the same pipes and wires, so there’ll be no changing of equipment and no interruption to your energy supply. The only thing you should notice are cheaper bills.
If you want to find out how long it might take to change suppliers, take a look at our guide to switching times.
To make sure switches are quick, easy and hiccup-free, energy suppliers have to stick to the Energy Switch Guarantee.
What do I need to get a quote?
Just answer a few questions about your energy use and we’ll show you a selection of fuel prices. It’s good to have a recent energy bill to hand because all the answers to help you get an accurate quote will be there. You’ll need to tell us:
- who your current supplier is
- the name of your current tariff
- your energy consumption in kWh or in pounds
- whether you pay your bills monthly or quarterly
If you don’t have your bill, don’t worry – you can still start a quote to get an estimate to see if you can save. You can easily change your quote later on, when you have your bill handy.Start a quote
From the Energy team
What our expert says
“It really doesn’t make sense to pay more than you need to for fuel. There are so many good gas and electricity deals out there. Knowing a bit about how fuel prices work and what tariffs are available will help when you start shopping around.”
Why use Compare the Market?
|We compare more than 25 energy suppliers^^||Get a quote in just 4 minutes^^^||Over 460,000 energy switches were made through Compare the Market in the year up to November 2020^^^^|
^^Correct as of November 2020.
^^^On average it can take less than four minutes to complete an energy quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.
^^^^For the 12 months ending November 2020, Compare the Market has helped over 460,000 customers to switch energy tariff.Start a quote