Energy comparison sites
Here you can find out which are the best comparison sites for energy usage to help find you the cheapest gas and electricity prices from UK suppliers. Not only that but we explain how to get the absolute lowest price possible using this tip that the comparison sites don't want you to know about. Switching gas and electric supplier will lower you gas and electrcity bills for a majority of households.
You don't have to listen to another Martin Lewis energy price comparison type rant to discover who's the cheapest energy supplier. You may not realise this but energy prices change daily and the best utility price comparison site will keep up with these constantly changing energy tariffs.
How energy comparison sites work
An energy comparison site allows you to compare different deals known as gas and electricity tariffs or energy tariffs from the energy suppliers in the UK. As it is not practical for an individual to get a quote from all of the energy companies individually this is where an energy comparison service steps in as a middleman between you and the supplier.
Every supplier has one or more tariffs with different energy rates, that's the price they charge for their gas and electricity. The lower the rate they charge the lower your energy bill will be.
British Gas who is the largest supplier in the UK (but not the cheapest) will offer a number of different energy tariffs. Each tariff is made up of a price for electricity in pence per kWh (a unit of electricity) and a daily standing charge for electricity in pence per day. The same is true for gas and the two sets of charges together would determine the cost of a dual fuel tariff (gas+electricity).
Most home energy customers in the UK are on a dual fuel tariff but many energy companies will allow you to have your gas supply with one energy provider and your electricity with another. Generally however it works out cheaper and less hassle to just stick with one.
List of comparison sites for energy
We've updated our list of sites that allow you to compare gas and electricity prices for 2021 to how just the big name brands you will recognise compared to our current best service, Energy Helpline. Also note that I have not included just Ofgem accredited sites so Go Compare is included as it is a well known brand. Price quotes are shown as a monthly cost for a dual fuel gas and electricity tariff paid by direct debit.
|Compare The Market||£79||£73|
Comparison of Ofgem accredited sites in 2019
Below you can find our list of Ofgem accredited domestic energy comparison sites showing which offered the cheapest switchable tariff and the cheapest whole of market comparison.
The data below was captured in 2019 but have kept it here for reference as it shows how well the energy comparison websites have done over time.
Energy comparison sites, which is best?
There are several factors that make one comparison service better than another for lowering energy bills. Firstly and most importantly, if cost is the biggest factor then the size of their tariff database is most important.
The larger the database the better as it means you will be comparing against more tariffs which means a better chance of finding the lowest cost gas and electric.
A big database however is no good unless you keep it up to date, if it is out of date the prices will not be accurate. All the sites we tested had their databases updated the day of the test.
Best comparison site for energy
Back in 2019 Energy Helpline came out as the best comparison site for comparing gas and electricity with the lowest switchable price of £881. A switchable tariff is one where they can handle the switch to your new energy supplier on your behalf which is generally the quickest and simplest option for most people.
One of the things that makes Energy Helpline's comparisons quicker and less intrusive is that you do not have to supply your exact address just your postcode. Most other comparison sites will not allow you to compare the energy market unless you give them your exact address.
Consumers are more cautious these days about giving out their email address. You do not have to give Energy Helpline your email if you are just doing a comparison.
In 2021 Energy Helpline is still our best rated comparison service based on the fact it is easier to get a quote and you do not have to disclose additional information such as your exact address and email address to get a quick initial quote.
Regarding price all of the energy comparison sites more or less show the same list of providers and so in our price check they have all returned the same price. The only exception is Go Compare who do not offer a whole of market comparison option, all Ofgem accredited (GoCompare is not one) sites have an option to view every single provider even if the service cannot switch you to that energy company.
Switchable tariffs and whole of market comparisons
Now here's the secret to getting the best deal possible. Energy price comparison sites make their money by switching you to a cheaper utility so by default they only show you tariffs that they can help you switch to.
There will usually be slightly cheaper tariffs available but in order to see these in the comparison you will need to click the button to view the whole of the market.
If you find a tariff that is cheaper or that you like the look of you will need to visit the energy companies website directly in order to switch to them. The energy comparison websites will not help you switch to these tariffs as they do not get any commission for doing so.
Branded gas and electric comparison sites
There are a few big name energy comparison sites such as Compare the Market, Uswitch, Money Supermarket and Money Saving Expert. Both Money Supermarket and Uswitch are compared on this page and as you can see from our comparison of these big name comparison services they don't offer the best deals for you to switch to.
There are a couple of recognisible names I have left off the list as they are not directly accredited by the energy regulator Ofgem These sites are Compare the Market and Money Saving Expert (the one with Martin Lewis).
A lot of people go straight to these sites as they've seen the adverts on television and so are unaware of the other services available that offer a better deal to the consumer. The reason I set up this site was to make people aware of all their options for switching energy in the UK and hopefully getting a much better deal.
How we did the comparison
The origional comparison was made on November 27th 2019 and used Ofgem average usage figures of 3,100 kWh for electricity usage and 12,000 kWh for gas usage over the course of a year. We have updated the review to show energy price quotes for 2021 but include just the brand names you will recognise and show the quotes as a monthly figure rather than annually as most people will be more familar with a figure that more closely reflects their direct debit payments.
Energy comparison websites require a certain amount of information to be entered in order for them to make an accurate comparison.
In order for a fair comparison between the sites we used the same criteria throughout including giving a postcode so that the region could be identified. In the UK costs are based partly on what part of the country you live in so someone at one end of the UK may get a different quote even though their energy usage is identical.
How do I find the cheapest energy provider?
You need to do an energy comparison so that you can find the cheapest energy plan for you. Using an energy comparison site enables you to compare the energy prices of all the energy providers at once.
How long does it take to do an energy comparison?
As long as you already have a recent energy bill or statement handy it will take less than 5 minutes to find out who the cheapest gas and electricity company is based on where you live and how much energy you use each year.
Which is the cheapest energy supplier?
Our cheapest energy supplier list has links to all of the energy providers where we have reviewed their pricing tariffs. You can find the latest gas and electric deals for each month starting from early 2020. It will show you the gas and electricity companies that have the best deals for each of those months so as to give you an idea of which utilities have a consistently cheaper price over time.
How do I compare energy providers?
Whilst you could visit individual suppliers websites and enter you details to compare against your current supplier it would take ages to do this manually. We do have a list of energy suppliers where the best performing suppliers are reviewed based on the most truted and also the best price.
Using a utility comparison site saves you the hassle and allows you to make a price comparison with all of the energy providers tariffs at once. It will be unrealistic to visit each energy provider in the UK to check their energy prices.
Each has its own database of supplier tariffs that it keeps up to date to enable you to compare the tariff you are on with all the other energy tariffs in order to show you cheaper gas and electricity suppliers.
Compare Energy Plans
There are thousands of energy plans available, new ones are released everyday and older ones are removed from the market. Choosing the right plan can only be done by doing an awful lot of research or using comparison services that monitor active tariffs that you can switch to.
The different types of energy tariffs that are available are designed to suit different circumstances. If you are finding that your bills are very high or your energy usage habits have changed such as charging an electric car at home it may be worth investigating the different types of plan available to match your usage to the currently available offers.
If you are just looking for the cheapest deal available then the quickest way to compare lots of energy plans at once is to use an energy comparison site.
If your current deal has come to an end and your supplier has moved you onto a more expensive standard variable tariff then comparing will find you a cheaper deal.
Often customers will switch to another deal offered by their supplier without comparing the price with other potentially cheaper providers just because it's easier. Comparing takes only minutes and potentially save you a significant amount, especially compared to your utilities default energy plan.
What about auto switching energy comparison sites?
If you're not the type of person who enjoys comparing tariffs, I mean who doesn't, then an autoswitch energy comparison site may be for you.
Autoswitching compares all the tariffs for you and then switches if it finds you a better deal. The difference with an auto switch versus a straight energy comparison is that the former continually compares and automatically switches you forever or until you cancel the service.
How Much can you Save by Switching?
Some of the cheapest energy deals are for green energy yet many people assume if it's green it must be more expensive. One of the reasons people do not switch is because they don't believe it can save them money. Cheap energy is only available to you if you switch, your current energy company is not going to do it for you. After all if they can get away with charging you whatever they want they will.
Safe Energy Switch took a look at what real people are actually saving by looking at the main UK energy comparison sites to see what they are actually saving.
Energy bill savings claims for 2021
Where a saving can be achieved 50% of people could achieve a saving of £338.00 on their dual fuel energy costs based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.
You could save an average of £387: Between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020, people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with Uswitch saved an average of £387.
51% of customers that applied to switch via MoneySuperMarket could save at least £286.50, June 2020.
51% of customers who applied to switch dual energy via Confused.com could save £189.48 or more on their annual energy bill, September 2020.
Save up to £567 on dual fuel bills – between 1st January to 31st March 2020 at least 10% of customers who provided their usage and received a price for switching both gas & electricity could save £567.16.
£497 is the minimum savings of the top 10% of savers who switched with energyhelpline in the period between 1st Nov 2019 and 30th April 2020.
Energy bill savings claims for 2019
These were the saving claims made by the comparison sites in 2019. I haven't listed them in a table as each claim is based on different criteria so you can't make a direct like for like comparison but it does give you an idea of potential savings.
Moneysupermarket saves at least £248 for over half of customers who compare and switch (November 2019).
EnergyHelpline saved 10% of their customers £461 (January to September 2019).
EnergyLinx saved 20% of their customers £305.91 (5th December 2019 to 2nd February 2020).
TheEnergyShop saved customers an average of £383 (February 2020).
SimplySwitch saved 10% of their customers and average of £350 (2019).
Uswitch saved at least 10% of customers £479 (July 2019 to 2nd December 2019).
GoCompare saved 10% of customers £405 (October 2018 to December 2018).
Why are you overpaying for your energy?
Switching is not just for dual fuel customers. Your electricity bills can be reduced by switching electricity supplier, especially if you have been on the same tariff for a year or more. You can switch energy if you are a prepayment customer, pay by direct debit or your fixed rate deal has ended.
There is nothing stopping you switching to a better energy deal and saving hundreds. It doesn't cost you anything to see if you could be paying less every month for your energy so why pay more when you don't need to, isn't the money you save better off in your pocket. I'm sure you can think of better things to spend your hard earned money on rather than overpaying for energy from the Big six.
Switching is free and takes about 5 minutes of your time to find out if your could lower your energy bill.