Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Cheap Gas & Electricity

Compare now to save £100s

Spring is approaching, but with a price war on now's the perfect time to switch gas and electricity. Even though all of the big six have announced cuts to their standard tariff gas prices, those deals are still £200+/yr more than the cheapest.

Many people can save £100s and guarantee no price hikes. This guide shows you how to find your cheapest deal, cut energy costs, reclaim any cash you're owed and bag cashback on top.

Now's a great time to switch energy tariff

Spring might be coming, but you can still make a great saving on your energy bills by taking advantage of the cheap deals on the market.

Even though E.on, British Gas, Scottish Power, Npower, SSE and EDF have announced they have or soon will shave 1.3% to 5.1% off their gas prices following huge political pressure linked to a 20%-30% fall in wholesale prices, the best deals are still for switchers.

Take E.on's £1,135 typical annual dual fuel standard price. Even after its price shave, that's still £217 a year more than the cheapest deals.

Fixed tariffs freeze the price of each unit of energy you use for a set time. Always watch out for exit fees though - they're what you'll be charged if you leave before the tariff ends.

Compare to find your cheapest price (plus possible cashback)

Prices always depend on your region and usage, which is why itís important to do a comparison. Our MSE Cheap Energy Club has a Top Fixed Picks comparison which will show you bespoke prices for the deals below (if you switch, you usually get £30 dual fuel cashback, or £15 for a single fuel). Hereís how the top tariffs compareÖ

CHEAP FIXED DEALS Based on typical usage, not available for prepay
Fixed until Supplier Exit fee Cost/yr Supplier's service rating (1)
Avg standard tariff (2)
- - £1,154 (3) -
Costly standard deal (4)
- - - £1,186 -
Cheapest short fix:
31 Mar 16
Extra Energy £25/fuel £918 41% great
39% poor

Slightly longer fix, with good feedback:

31 May 16
Co-op Energy* £30/fuel £944 63% great
7% poor
No-exit-fee fix with decent feedback:
31 Jul 16
EDF Energy* None £964 55% great
12% poor
No-exit fee two-year fix:
28 Feb 17
EDF Energy* None £999 55% great
12% poor
REMEMBER! These are average prices. Always do a cheap fixes comparison to find your cheapest
Source: Tariffs correct as of 26 March 2015. All tariffs assume monthly direct debit. Varies by region. (1) For each provider, not tariff, based on MSE poll of 7,782 people in Nov 2014. (2) Estimated average across big six. (3) This is the average standard tariff for the big six firms after price cuts take effect. Average tariff currently is £1,159. (4) SSE.

Latest price changes

Last winter suppliers hiked prices, then subsequently trimmed them, and this year providers are further cutting prices.

See full info on recent energy hikes and cuts.

Energy switch and fixing Q&A

We've been collating your questions from our own survey, the forums and social media about switching and fixed tariffs. We've answered the most common below. Click the links to read the answer to each question.

Comparing shows a fix'll cost me more - should I still do it?

I have a prepay meter. Can I switch or fix my energy tariff?

Should I take a short, cheaper fix, or fix long? I can't decide

Other questions, including 'I'm in debt, can I switch?' and 'Is it a big hassle?'

Get CONSTANTLY cheap energy with MSE's free Cheap Energy Club

Our Cheap Energy Club is designed to keep you constantly on the cheapest tariff - fighting the fact most cheap deals only last 1-2 years before their rates rise. It does this by...

  1. Finding you the cheapest deal. If you're already on it, great. If not, it'll help you switch. You usually get £30 cashback on top for a dual fuel switch or £15 cashback for switching just gas or electricity.

  2. Then constantly monitoring your tariff. Each month, without you doing anything, we do a background comparison to check yours is still cheapest.

  3. Alerting you when it's time to switch (again). If you can save money switching either because your rate's changed, or others have, we'll tell you.

We've been swamped with positive feedback, such as:

Got to say thanks. Iíll be saving a whopping £800 per year on my dual fuel bill after using your Cheap Energy Club. Was hoping for £300 so this is amazing (a tad annoyed with myself that I didn't do it sooner!

I just switched via Energy Club and will save about £120/year! Thanks! Don't know why I didn't look into this ages ago.

Registered & used your Cheap Energy Club. Managed to switch to a fixed until 2014 deal and saved £85/yr! On top, the deal promises £70 cashback after three months, making my fixed deal less than the cheapest variable deal.

We've also added some improvements to Cheap Energy Club. One is a filter that lets you search for tariffs with no standing charge. Let us explain....

Energy bills work a bit like phones, you have the standing charge (like line rental, you pay it regardless) and the usage charge (like calls). Many who go away for decent chunks of the year want to avoid a standing charge and have asked us about it. So Cheap Energy Club now lets you compare all 'no standing charge' tariffs.

Cheap Energy Club's results also show which tariffs will and which won't be eligible for the Warm Home discount. This is a Government discount of £140 you can get during winter - if you qualify. See Warm Home Switching.

And finally, in the past our alert emails went just to the person who registered, but lots of you said you wanted somebody else copied in, so we've added that function too. Do it when you register, or add them to the account details page if you're already a member.

Try it, and let us know what you think at

Comparison sites don't always show all tariffs by default

It's also possible to get cashback for switching from comparison sites. Bear in mind though that some comparison sites by default only show you tariffs you can switch to via them (ie, where they're paid commission). This filters out some results - Cheap Energy Club shows you ALL those available by default.

If you do use a comparison site always make sure you've selected the option to show all available tariffs to get the full picture before making a decision.

For more help switching energy via comparison sites click here

Switch to monthly direct debit to save up to £90

Fixed monthly direct debit payments, where you pay a fixed estimate each month, can usually save you £70-£90 a year as companies are sure you won't default and they earn interest on any overpayments. So if you can do this, go for it. Depending on your supplier, any overpayments are refunded automatically or on request.

Plus don't assume dual fuel (getting gas & electricity from one supplier) is cheapest. When comparing, check the cheapest separate suppliers too.

FREE insulation & boilers

Energy efficiency can seriously cut bills. There are wads of freebies on offer from energy providers, from new boilers to loft and cavity wall insulation.

It's all part of their efficiency obligations to people in certain groups. The full Free Insulation & Boilers guide has more, but below's a taster of what you can get and what it'll save you.

  • Boiler replacement or repair. Boilers account for around 55% of what you spend in a year on energy bills. The more efficient your boiler, the more heat it produces from each gas unit.

    Depending on your boiler's age, a shiny new efficient one could save you up to £310/year. New boilers typically cost £2,300 - a fabulous freebie.

  • Cavity wall insulation. Most homes built since 1920 have a gap between internal and external walls. Filling the cavity with insulating mineral wool and foam means cold air's kept out, and warm air stays in. It can save an average three-bedroom home up to £140/year.

  • Loft insulation. Up to a quarter of your home's heat escapes via the roof, but you can solve this by laying mineral wool under the rafters, saving up to £180/yr.

Got electricity only? You can still save

If you don't have a gas supply, don't think the rules are different. If you only have electricity you can still save serious cash using the comparisons. Use Cheap Energy Club or the other comparison sites listed above.

How to save £100s if you're on a key/card meter

While a push from the Government means it's getting better, those on prepayment (key/card) meters are still pretty hard done by, certainly compared to those who pay by direct debit. If possible, switch to a billed meter. You may have to pay, but the savings are usually worth it.

Often they won't let you though, due to credit score or income difficulties. For full info on how to ditch a prepayment meter for a credit meter, or if you can't, how to save on a prepay meter, see the full Cheap Prepaid Gas & Elec guide. If you can't get a normal meter, you can switch and save (compare prepay tariffs).

Switched energy? Get your direct debit right

Energy complexity is frustrating. Switching at a time when price hikes AREN'T looming (as they ARE now), can save people big money. But it can feel the opposite if the direct debit goes up.

Direct debits are based on an estimate of your usage. So some find they've switched to a cheaper tariff, but their direct debit rises. This can be the new firm over-estimating or the old one under-estimating. If it means you overpay, you'll get the money back later.

Since we've been lobbying on direct debits, rules have changed. Suppliers' licences now say they must ensure direct debits are reasonable. If yours isn't, see the full help guide Energy Direct Debits.

Renters can switch too

If you rent your home, you could save around £190+ a year by switching. You don't need to own the property to do it, so don't just stick with the previous tenant's gas or electricity firm.

Tenants can print out our factsheet to give to landlords. It explains the rights that renters have to switch energy supplier. It also helps landlords understand that allowing tenants to switch won't cause them any problems. Let us know if the factsheet helped you in the Energy factsheet forum thread.

When renting, you're free to switch, providing you pay the energy supplier directly (rather than paying your landlord).

You should also check your tenancy agreement - but even if your contract bans switching, Ofgem's guidance on this states that if you pay the energy bill, you're still entitled to change supplier any time. You can still compare on Cheap Energy Club if you don't have the former occupants' bills, just hit the "don't know" button when you enter your usage.

We'd love to hear your experiences of switching as a renter on the Switching when renting forum discussion, especially if you've successfully challenged your landlord.

If you're a renter, here's some more info on your switching rights.

Pay the energy company directly? You CAN switch supplier

My tenancy agreement says I can't switch, help!

Even if you pay your landlord for energy, you may still be able to switch

Landlord says you can't ditch supplier? Try a cheaper tariff

You may be able to switch from a prepay to a normal meter

You may be eligible for free insulation or a free boiler

Tell us whether your landlord allowed you to switch in our switching while renting poll - 52% told us they did it with no problems:

Renters - have you ever tried to switch energy?This week's MoneySaving poll

If you've tried to change your energy tariff, how did your landlord react?

Please vote and also feedback on specific experiences.

Clear All
Vote Now

Check if you're one of 3.5 million owed refunds

Around 3.5 million people are owed a refund by an old supplier. Energy regulator Ofgem "expects suppliers to do more" to return the cash, taken from customers who overpaid on bills before switching elsewhere.

Your previous supplier(s) will owe you money if you were in credit when you switched, and you didn't get that money back automatically. If that happened, you have to ask for a refund.

We've created a guide for you to check if you're owed any of the £200 million that providers are still sitting on. Plus, if you are owed, the guide will tell you how to claim. It's down you to get your money back.

See how to get your previous supplier to cough up in Reclaim Energy Bill Refunds.

Use less energy

It's not just which energy supplier you pay, but how much you use. Cutting energy is a mix of big and little things.

Turn down the thermostat and wear jumpers, turn lights off when you leave a room, use energy saving lightbulbs, defrost the fridge and check it's not on too high and don't leave electrical goods on standby. For more info, read the forum's Energy Saving Hunt and see the Energy Saving Trust website.

Do a meter reading every time you get a bill

Reading your meter

Don't rely on your energy provider's estimate; these are often way out. If they're under-billing, you'll have a big whack to pay when your supplier receives your actual meter reading. If they're over-billing, then they've unfairly got your cash.

If your direct debit is way off kilter, call up and ask for it to be changed. You have a range of rights to ensure it's correct. See the full Energy Direct Debits guide for template letters.

Economy 7 users, you can save too

If you pay different rates depending on what time you use your energy, you can still save. Economy 7 users can compare in exactly the same way as everyone else. See our full Is Economy 7 Right for You? guide for full info.

Economy 7 users can switch to cheap fixes too. In most cases Economy 7 users can also get the top fix tariffs in the Cheapest Fixed Deals table above.

If you've Economy 10, it's slightly more effort. However we've worked out a way to compare - see how to do it in our Economy 7 guide. Economy 7 and 10 tariffs are only worth considering if you've storage heaters, work shifts or can use appliances on timers.

Use heating oil? See how to save

If you use a heating oil tank to warm your home, our guide can help slash your bills.

1.5 million UK households rely on heating oil tanks. But many overpay due to an under-regulated market that gets too little political attention.

Our guide includes five simple steps to help cut costs, including how to haggle down the price, when to time your purchase, buying in bulk for big discounts and pay in the cheapest possible way.

Some could save £50-£100 on an average annual bill of £1,400. The guide's only for those using home heating oil (not LPG or renewable energy). See Cheap Heating Oil.

What to do if things go wrong - complain

Contact your energy supplier. Keep a note of all the dates, times and people you speak to. If calling doesn't work, write a letter. One way to do this is to use a free service from a company called Resolver which will manage your complaint and take care of the administration, including escalting it, if necessary.

Then if you've escalated it as far as you can and you still don't have an adequate response, contact the Energy Ombudsman.

It will try to resolve complaints about billing, transfers, service and sales issues and can ask providers to award compensation of up to £10,000 (though much less is usual).

Ombudsman complaints are a no-risk system, so if you've got an issue, go for it. You can ring, write or complain to it online. All energy suppliers have to be a member of the ombudsman's redress scheme, so it's open to all energy customers.