Correct as of: 22/05/2015.
Typical bills are for default standard tariffs for customers paying by quarterly cash and cheque without prompt payment discounts. Average usage 13,500 kWh pa of gas and 3,200 kWh pa of electricity. Cheapest tariffs are monthly direct debit.
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With electricity prices seemingly climbing ever skyward, if you want to keep your costs down you need to undertake a thorough electricity price comparison to ensure you find the cheapest energy suppliers in your area.
Here's how to compare electricity prices so you cut the cost and have more money left in your pocket.
Before you compare electricity rates and providers it makes sense to establish exactly what you need from your supplier.
Deciding on the type of electricity tariff you are looking for is a big part of picking the best provider for your circumstances.
As with other utilities including gas, there are two main types of electricity tariffs, fixed and variable.
Essentially a fixed or capped tariff will restrict the amount you pay for a set period. This means you know your costs won't exceed a certain level for the duration of the tariff; however in return for this guarantee the price per unit charged by fixed tariffs tends to be more - at least to start with - than their variable counterparts.
A variable, or flexible tariff doesn't offer any guarantee on the price you're charged per unit so it could change at any time. Alternatively, if prices do fall while you are on a variable tariff, the price you pay could also drop.However, as they don't provide this protection they tend to be cheaper from the outset,
For more help deciding which type of tariff is right for you, read our guide: How to Get Cheap Electricity.
Most tariffs incorporate a standing charge into their energy prices, meaning that the price of your electricity per kWh will drop after you've used a set amount.
This means that if you use a small amount of electricity, the standing charge will have a greater impact on the overall cost of your usage, rather than if you use a high amount and move onto the lower rate quicker.
If you are unsure how much electricity you currently use, you can check a past statement or look at your Annual Energy Statement.
If you can be flexible in when you use the bulk of your electricity then you may want to consider opting for a tariff which offers reduced rates at certain times of the day.
Economy 7 is a common electricity tariffs which slashes the cost of electricity used during off peak hours - ideal if you work shift patterns, or use a storage heater at home.
For more information on whether Economy 7 could give you cheap electricity, read our guide; Economy 7: Could It Help You Cut Your Energy Bills?
If you currently have two different supplies for your electricity and gas, you could save money by combining the two utilities onto one duel fuel tariff.
While there is no guarantee that a duel fuel tariff will be cheaper than separate tariffs with different utility suppliers, most will come with discounts of up to £100, or 8% off your bill if you combine the two.
If you're happy to manage your account online and pay by direct debit then you could cut the cost of your electricity significantly.
This is something worth taking into consideration when looking for the cheapest electricity suppliers as the level of discount on offer for each of these could change which supplier proves to be the cheapest option.
However, if you prefer to receive paper statements and pay your bills as they are due then you may be less concerned with the level of discount on offer for managing and paying in this way.
Once you've decided exactly what you want from your supplier and narrowed you options to those offering what you're looking for, you need to compare prices directly.
The main factor you need to check is the kWh rate (price per unit) you are charged for your electricity, both with and without any standing charge, so you find the cheapest suppliers overall.
By checking all these factors you should be able to find the cheapest energy supplier for your electricity usage!
To compare rates you can use our electricity comparison UK table and find the best supplier for your circumstances.
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