If you’re on your energy supplier’s standard tariff, you shouldn’t be! Over two thirds of people are on the standard tariff – many with the big six companies. But what are the cheapest energy deals from the big six energy companies?
How does the standard tariff compare to their cheapest deal?
You can save up to £250 a year if you’re an average user and you switch from the standard tariff to your energy supplier’s cheapest deal. The amount you save will depend on which company you’re with. To work out the cost of the standard tariff and cheapest deals, I’ve used the energy regulator Ofgem’s figures, which say that the average home uses 12,500 Kwh of gas and 3,100 Kwh of electricity a year.
SAVVY TIP: The cheapest deals generally require you to manage your account online. You can normally do this via your mobile or desktop computer. You have to log in to see your statements and give regular meter readings.
You also have to sign up for both gas and electricity (dual fuel) to get the cheapest prices I’ve quoted.
Which of the big six has the most expensive standard tariff?
nPower has the most expensive standard tariff at £1,187 a year for an average customer who buys both gas and electricity from them and pays by direct debit. I’m not defending British Gas’s price rise, but nPower’s standard tariff is more expensive than British Gas’s standard tariff – even after its price rise in September.
Cheapest energy deals from the big six energy companies
The cheapest tariff from the big six energy companies that’s available to all customers is from nPower (£938 a year). However, nPower has a cheaper deal available to members of the armed forces and emergency services and have a discount card.
Even after its 12.5% increase in electricity prices in September, British Gas’s standard tariff isn’t the most expensive of the major energy suppliers. But that’s no reason to stay on it.
Standard tariff: The average duel fuel customer on British Gas’s standard tariff paying by direct debit currently pays £1,044 a year. After the price rise they will pay £1,120 a year.
Cheapest tariff: British Gas told me its cheapest tariff is HomeEnergy Secure Aug 2019 at an average cost of £1,107 per year for the average dual fuel customer paying by direct debit. But that makes it more expensive than its standard tariff.
Saving: At the moment, you’ll pay more if you opt for the fixed deal compared to the standard tariff. What?! After the price rise in September, you’d save just £13 a year by switching to what British Gas describe as its cheapest tariff.
Although Co-op Energy isn’t one of the big six energy suppliers, I’ve included its tariffs because it is one of the bigger independent suppliers and it’s also providing energy for customers of the failed supplier, GB Energy Supply.
Standard tariff: Co-op Energy’s Green Pioneer standard variable tariff, which is 100% green electricity, is £1,179 a year for an average dual fuel customer paying by direct debit.
Cheapest tariff: Currently, Co-op Energy’s cheapest fixed tariff available to new customers is the ‘My Co-op Lite Online September 18’. This is an online only tariff and is also only available on dual fuel deals. It’s £924 a year for customers paying by direct debit
Saving: You’d save £255 a year by switching to Co-op Energy’s cheapest deal.
SAVVY TIP: Unlike the other energy suppliers, if you don’t supply monthly meter readings while you’re on a Co-op Energy deal, you may be switched onto the standard variable tariff. It’s something I don’t agree with – especially from a company that brands itself as ethical. Here are the full terms and conditions.
EDF Energy’s cheapest tariff is only available via Moneysupermarket.com if you’ve signed up to its collective energy switching deal. So I’ve also included its cheapest deal that’s available to anyone.
Standard tariff: the standard tariff costs £1,160 a year for an average user if you’re on a dual fuel deal and pay by direct debit.
Cheapest tariff available to all: Online Saver Aug ’18 costs £976 a year for dual fuel customers paying by direct debit. You don’t have to take frequent meter readings (although it’s a good idea to do this to make sure you pay for the energy you use), but you do have to manage the account online.
Saving: You’d save £184 if you switched to the cheapest deal available for everyone.
SAVVY TIP: EDF’s cheapest overall deal, is only available via Moneysupermarket’s collective switching. It’s the Simply Fixed Aug 18 tariff, which costs an average user £865 a year on a dual fuel direct debit deal. But you must have registered for collective switching before the deal goes live.
Standard tariff: the standard tariff costs £1,187 a year for an average user if you’re on a dual fuel deal and pay by direct debit. This is the most expensive of the big six energy providers.
Cheapest tariff available to all: The cheapest tariff available to new and existing customers is Fixed Energy Online August 2018, which costs a dual fuel customer paying by direct debit £938 a year. You have to manage this tariff online.
Saving: You’d save £249 a year.
SAVVY TIP: nPower also has an exclusive deal if you work for the emergency services or armed forces and have a Blue Light Card or have joined the Defence Discount Service scheme. It’s called Everyday Heroes Fix December 2018, and it costs £919 a year for an average dual fuel user paying by direct debit. You have to manage the account online.
Standard tariff: Scottish Power’s standard tariff costs £1,167 for the average customer on a dual fuel deal who pays by direct debit.
Cheapest tariff: Its cheapest tariff is the Online Fixed Saver August 2018. It costs £990 for the average customer on a dual fuel tariff who pays by direct debit. You have to manage your account online.
Saving: You’d save £177 a year.
SSE has the smallest difference between its standard tariff and cheapest tariff. Its standard tariff isn’t particularly competitive, so its cheapest deal is pretty expensive compared to the other big energy companies.
Standard tariff: If you have SSE’s standard tariff and pay by direct debit, it will cost the average customer £1,141 a year. There’s a £40 discount for paying by direct debit and a further £6 discount for each fuel if you opt for paperless billing. This would bring the cost down to £1129.
Cheapest tariff: One Year Fixed v12 DD Paperless would cost the average user £1,072 a year. That includes a discount for paying the bill by direct debit and getting your bills via email. You don’t have to manage the account online and the tariff is available to all customers.
Saving: You’d save just £57 a year if you were on the standard tariff and were already paying by direct debit and were signed up to paperless billing. You’d save £69 a year if you switched from paper bills to paperless when you moved to the cheapest tariff.
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