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How much do you pay for your gas and electricity every month? Is it more than you would like to be paying? There are a number of reasons why this might be:
- You use a lot of energy sapping appliances.
- You have old or outdated appliances that are sapping your energy.
- You have a large home that is costly to run.
However, perhaps the main reason you are paying too much for your energy might be that you are on the wrong plan or using the wrong energy provider for you. There is no best energy supplier, but there is a best one for you.
Energy, in the form of gas and electricity, is provided by dozens of different companies all around the UK. They all offer different tariffs, rates and offers for energy. As a homeowner or renter responsible for paying the bills you are entitled to compare energy plans and choose who you buy your energy from, and how.
If you have been with the same provider for years, the chances are you will be on the standard variable rate. Swapping your tariff or provider now could save you several hundred pounds each year.
What are the different types of energy plan?
There are two main types of energy tariffs for energy plans. One is the standard variable rate, which means you are not tied into a fixed contract and pay a varying rate depending on the overall cost of energy. The other is a fixed tariff, which means you are tied into a fixed price for energy for a specific period, usually 12 months.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be better suited to one of the other of the above. However, your energy decisions don’t end there. There are different types of energy plans which provide you with your power in different ways. Below we have outlined the main types of energy plan you can choose.
This is when you choose your suppliers of gas and electricity separately. This might be because you can find a better deal for each fuel, although it is generally cheaper to go for a dual fuel option (see below). However, there are other reasons you might choose a single energy plan, such as not having a mains gas connection or getting your electricity from solar panels.
If you would like to keep your gas and electricity suppliers separate, or only require one or the other, then a single plan is the right choice.
A dual fuel plan is when you get your gas and electricity from the same supplier. Many people find these plans more convenient because they only get one bill each month and you only have to deal with one supplier if there is a problem. You can also get discounts by signing up to a dual fuel plan, as it has benefits for energy suppliers too.
Looking to minimise the amount of bills and correspondence you have to deal with and want a better overall rate? Then a dual fuel plan is the way to go.
This is an energy plan known as a ‘differential tariff’ that aims to help you pay less for your electricity. You pay normal prices during the day but cheaper rates for seven hours during the night, which can be up to 50% less.
Are you a night owl or an early riser? Use more power during unsociable hours? Then Economy 7 could help you save.
As you might have guessed, this is the same principle as the Economy 7 plan but with 10 hours of cheaper electricity per day, often in other off peak times such as the afternoon or very early morning.
We don’t all keep the same hours for many reasons – work, social life, young children. So an Economy 10 plan might suit you.
What energy plan is right for me?
Before choosing your energy plan, you need to think about a number of things. These include:
- The type of home you live in, its size and energy efficiency rating
- The number of people that you live with
- The types of appliances you have in your home
- Your household energy use, including times of peak use
- Contract length – is a fixed rate contract suitable for you?
- Green energy options
If you use more energy at night or during off peak hours, such as if you work from home, then an Economy 7 or 10 plan might be more suitable. If you are keen to have green energy, then look for suppliers who have an emphasis on renewables in their plans.
If you plan on staying where you are for the foreseeable, a fixed rate plan might be a better option. If you are renting or moving, then a variable rate might suit more. You also need to think about any added extras that come as part of your energy plan.
Which plan should I choose depending on my consumer habits?
The plan you choose depends on a number of factors. First, the way you use electricity could determine the plan that is right for you. Your budget is another key consideration. Nobody wants to be paying more for their electricity than necessary but if you are on a tighter budget, an Economy 7 or 10 plan might be better suited, especially if you are able to alter your usage accordingly.
Dual fuel tariffs generally work out as better value. But you may also prefer to go with one supplier for gas and another for electricity for other reasons, such as a greater percentage of renewables in their fuel mix. Your own personal habits and preferences will come into the decision as well as purely financial considerations.
Some suppliers offer boiler cover as part of their energy plans. Built into the cost of your gas or electricity is a boiler repair service. So, if something does go wrong with your heating system, someone will be on hand to fix it free of charge.
Online energy tariffs
In the UK we have the Big Six energy companies who provide the majority of homes with their energy. However, there is an increasing amount of smaller energy firms entering the market and offering different kinds of energy plans. Often the only place to find these smaller providers is online, which is why they are able to keep their costs down.
🏘️ What is a dual fuel energy plan?
A dual fuel plan is when you get your gas and electricity from the same supplier. This is convenient because you only get one bill and have to deal with one supplier. Plus, you can usually find better deals.
🔥 Can I get boiler cover with my energy plan?
Some suppliers will include additional extras as part of their plans, such as boiler insurance. If this is something you are worried about, then a boiler cover plan might be a good idea.
⚡ What is Economy 7?
Economy 7 is an energy plan where you pay normal rates during the day but then get cut price electricity for seven hours at night. Great if you use more power at irregular times. There is also an Economy 10 plan based on the same principle.
🥇 Which energy plan is right for me?
The right energy plan for you depends on a number of factors, such as the size of your home, how much electricity you use and when you use it. However, if your current bills are high and you haven’t changed your plan or tariff for some time, then it might be worth having a look around to compare energy plans. Choosing a more suitable plan could help you to save hundreds of pounds a day.
Updated on 15 Oct, 2020