How to get cheaper gas and electricity right now

When it comes to keeping your energy bills low you have two choices, use less or pay less. You're probably here now for the latter, everyone wants to pay less for their energy but are often put off by the hassle of finding a cheaper gas and electric supplier.

Before we go any further you might want to check to see if you are a higher than average energy user to find out why you might be using more gas and electric than a similar sized household.

Why are you paying too much for your gas and electric?

Energy companies make lots of money and they make even more because most people can't be bothered to shop around. They think it's too much hassle, too difficult or just too confusing.

Why do you think you are on hold for ages when you phone up your supplier? Why do they spend what seems like ages telling you about how they use your data and how you are important to them and then put you in a cue with hold music only to interrupt intermittently to tell you that you can find answers to your questions online, like you haven't already tried that first.

Why do you think the first generation of smart meters didn't allow you to switch to a cheaper supplier. Your not telling me that happened by mistake. They spent millions, built and tested the smart meters over many years and no one spotted that they couldn't handle switching suppliers.

No I'm afraid the big energy companies want you to stay a loyal customer. They know that the longer you remain with them the more they can charge you.

The cheapest gas and electricity supplier

Now there are energy companies that are consistently low on price and they do this by undercutting the bigger energy companies. Outfox the Market and Utility Point are two such suppliers. Sure they have issues and customer service is on the whole poor, but if you never need to contact them you can be quids in.

I used to be an Outfox the Market customer but I left after they made some pretty big gaffs which scared off lots of customers. However they have been the cheapest supplier in the UK for the last year or so. I know this as I check the prices on EnergyHelpline which compares the whole of the market and they have the most comprehensive supplier database in the industry.

So why aren't you switching?

  • It's too difficult or complicated to switch energy suppliers
  • I feel safe with my Big 6 supplier
  • New energy suppliers seem to be going under frequently
  • What if I switch and they increase the prices soon after
  • I don't want to keep on having to compare and switch

If you have one or more of the above concerns then you can avoid these problems by using one of the energy switching sites. I think I have compiled the most comprehensive list of auto switch services for the UK and many of the switching sites now cover the whole of the market.

The advantage of using a secure automatic energy switching site is that they do the comparisons and alert you when it is beneficial for you to switch and then do the switch for you. Less hassle and more money saved.

And if you are still not convinced you are getting the cheapest deal you can always manually verify it yourself by checking the EnergyHelpline database (don't forget to select the show me all generally available plans).

I just don't want to switch

If you really don't want to change over to a cheaper energy company then at least call up your current supplier and check to see if they have a better deal. If you haven't already done this then it is likely you could save some money without having to move.

What else can I do to cut my energy bills?

I like to think I'm pretty switched on when it comes to reducing how much I spend on gas and electricity. In a typical 3 bed family home my current energy Supplier (December 2019, The People's Energy Company) estimates my annual usage at 2,226 kWh for electricity (3,100 kWh is the national average) and 7,236 kWh for gas (12,000 kWh is the national average) which classes me as a low energy user.

The reason I'm telling you this is that a household with 2 adults and 2 children can reduce their energy usage. Without going into too much detail I used draught excluders around external doors, Low energy light bulbs (LED), fitted low flow showerhead and reduced the hot water and heating temperature on the boiler.

If you are the sort of person who likes the comfort of all day heating in winter then definitely switch to a cheaper energy supplier.

If you are still not convinced I will leave you with this little fact. The current cheapest energy provider on 31st October 2019 is Outfox the Market's One Variable 7.0 tariff at £841 a year.

The most expensive is Ebico's Zero Green Fixed V4 at £1,482 for the same amount of energy used for a year. That's £641 difference in cost. That's the equivalent of you paying over £50 more a month by direct debit for the exact same energy.