How to get cheap electricity
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Last updated: 14 July 2021
With a little know-how courtesy of yours truly, you’ll soon secure the cheapest electricity prices.
Why should I compare electricity prices?
Running an energy comparison allows you to see what the best deal on the market is at any given moment and, critically, how much you’re overpaying. 20 years ago, you’d rely on advertisements and word-of-mouth to learn about electricity deals. Then came the internet and with it, comparison websites: catalogues of electricity tariffs at your fingertips, specific to your needs and preferences – so take advantage!
But you’ll also discover suppliers you might not have heard of, ones which offer something the Big Six don’t. For example, there are an increasing number of green energy companies who source their fuel mix solely from renewables. Or, there may be a smaller provider that offers top-rate customer service which, unless you compare energy deals, you might not stumble across.
Comparing electricity prices gives you a precise measure of what’s a bargain and what’s a rip-off, which can guide your search.
How much can I save by switching electricity supplier?
The most common reason for switching electricity supplier is to save money. But just how much could you save? That, of course, depends on what you pay on your current tariff.
Let’s suppose you’re on a Standard Variable Tariff (SVT). This is a supplier’s default rate which customers are placed on once a fixed-rate deal ends. If you’re on this tariff, you’ll be paying considerably more for your electricity than if you took out a new deal. It’s also likely you’ll be on an SVT if you’ve just moved into a property.
To reel in business, suppliers reserve their best energy deals for new customers. But after the honeymoon period things turn sour, with prices increasing as customers are transferred to an SVT at the end of their contract term. So, check what tariff you’re on and get ready to switch – you could save as much as £350 on your annual electricity bill.
How to compare electricity prices with usave
It’s easy as pie to compare electricity prices with usave.
Start by simply popping your postcode into our energy comparison tool. You’ll then be asked to fill in some further details – you don’t have to do this, but more information means we’ll be able to better tailor results for the type of deal you’re after. Let us know who your current provider is, how you’d like to pay for your electricity bill and what your current electricity consumption is. This’ll all guide our search and allow us to show you how much you can save.
Once you click compare, we’ll show you available tariffs from a huge variety of energy suppliers, from household names like British Gas to lesser-known independent providers. Using the sidebar, you can filter results to show you either dual-fuel tariffs or just electricity tariffs alone.
How much does electricity cost?
Electricity doesn’t have a fixed price. Suppliers charge a rate for every unit of electricity you use, which is measured in kilowatt hours. Of course, this rate isn’t the same across all energy providers: there are both competitive and not-so-competitive deals.
Your unit rate depends on several factors which go beyond simply what tariff you’re on and where you live. Wholesale prices can be affected by any number of global events which impact the price you pay, particularly if you’re on a variable rate tariff.
In addition to your unit rate, you pay a standing charge. This is a daily fee paid to your supplier in order to have access to energy; naturally, different suppliers will have different standing charges, so this is another thing to look out for when you compare energy deals.
What are the cheapest energy suppliers in the UK?
When it comes to cheap energy suppliers, there’s no clear and cut winner. What might be a great deal for one person may not be the most penny-pinching for another. That’s because energy costs vary considerably based on a range of factors.
For starters, where you live will determine your electricity prices, as will what type of tariff you opt for. But more than that, the competitive nature of the energy market means that the cheapest supplier can change day-on-day, with new deals being constantly churned out. That’s why it’s important to compare energy deals first to find a tariff suitable for you – don’t just rely on the recommendation of a friend who lives half way up the country!
Other ways to get cheaper electricity
One way to get cheap electricity could be install an Economy 7 meter. This is a specific electricity meter that gives you discounted rates of energy, but only during 7 off-peak hours which is, in essence, night time. By contrast, at other times, you’ll pay above average rates. So, why opt for this? Well if you’re a shift worker, up throughout the night, then you could take full advantage of the savings made with this type of meter.
Another option is to install a smart meter, which’ll send real time meter readings to your supplier. In turn, this’ll gives you accurate data to use when you run your energy comparison meaning you don’t over- or underestimate your consumption.
You could also consider installing solar panels. While there is an upfront cost, in time you’ll recoup the expenditure and generate your own electricity for free.