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Types of Energy Tariff

We explain what the different types of available energy tariffs are, so you can decide which one is right for you.

Last updated: 24 November 2020

Types of Energy Tariff
There are many types of energy tariff on the market which can make choosing your energy deal a difficult task. Fortunately you can compare energy deals to quickly find what’s out there and make your search easier. Our guide takes a look at energy tariffs to help you decide which energy tariff is right for you. 

How Many Energy Tariffs are there?

When you compare energy tariffs you might be daunted by the amount of choice your search throws up. Learning what each tariff means can help make your decision easier.

Essentially, there are two main categories of energy tariff – fixed rate and variable rate. Every other tariff you find will be a variation of these types.
A variable rate tariff is one which changes, meaning the unit rate of your gas and electricity go up and down as your supplier dictates. Standard Variable Tariffs (SVT) are the default for most suppliers, however they are often very expensive. 

A fixed rate tariff is one where you have a set unit rate for your gas and electricity, for a fixed period of time. Usually, you will find a fixed tariff for 12 months, however some suppliers offer them for much longer. Fixed tariffs protect you from price rises, but you won’t be able to benefit from energy price falls.

Types of Energy Tariff

Once you’ve decided whether you want a fixed or variable tariff, you will then need to choose from the many variations available. This might seem overwhelming at first, but comparing energy tariffs is the easiest way to find the best energy deals

Types of Fixed Energy Tariff

There are many different fixed energy tariffs available and they will almost always save you money. The easiest way to find the one for you is to compare energy online. 

A fixed price energy tariff fixes the unit cost of your energy, however it does not fix the cost of your direct debit. This is because your direct debit is still controlled by your energy usage, the more energy you use the more expensive your energy bills.  

Types of Variable Energy Tariff

As mentioned, a Standard Variable Tariff will probably be the default for your supplier. This means when your cheap fixed rate tariff comes to an end you will probably be automatically switched to an expensive SVT. 

To avoid paying more when your current deal is coming to an end, start shopping around 49 days before your contract . If you switch energy supplier during this period you cannot be charged an early exit fee.

As well as SVTs, some suppliers offer tracker tariffs. These directly follow a price index, for example they might follow the wholesale cost of your energy. They will go up and down as this price index fluctuates making it very difficult to know whether a tracker tariff will save you money. 

Gas and Electricity Tariffs

A dual energy tariff could be useful if you are worried about losing time to admin. Most suppliers offer dual fuel energy tariffs meaning both your gas and electricity are with the same supplier. 

Many customers look for a dual fuel energy tariff for the convenience. Plus, if you have any issues you only have one point of contact for both gas and electricity.

Some suppliers will even offer a discount for having both fuels with them. It’s always worth comparing energy deals to check whether a dual tariff could save you money.

Green Electricity Tariffs

Greener tariffs are now quite widely available. They promise at least 100% renewably sourced electricity, and sometimes up to 10% renewably sourced gas. 

Choosing a green tariff adds to the demand for renewably sourced energy so is a great environmental choice. Plus, with demand going up they are now reasonably priced. You can compare green tariffs to find cheap energy

Different Energy Tariffs

If the standard energy tariffs don’t sound right for you there are plenty of alternatives. 

Prepayment energy tariffs are available with most suppliers. You pay for the energy before you use it instead of being invoiced afterwards. This can make it easier to manage your energy use, though prepayment meters are often the most expensive way of paying for fuel.

Time of use tariffs such as Economy 7 offer a cheaper price for 7 hours at night. If you use electricity more during the night then this could be ideal for you. However, if you cannot take advantage of the cheaper time it’s best to switch. 

Unlimited energy tariffs are a relatively recent introduction and very difficult to find. They base your payment on previous energy bills and fix this cost for an entire year. This means no matter how much energy you use you will pay a fixed fee. 

If you’re looking for a new energy tariff, compare energy tariffs to see what’s available. 
Harry Pererra

Author: Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in web design and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and broadband. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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