Why compare gas & electricity prices? How much can I save? We answer your most frequently asked questions below
To make sure you’re not paying too much for your household energy.
If you’ve never switched supplier before, you’ll be on a standard variable rate (SVR) tariff, which will come with higher rates than other deals on the market. You’ll also be on an SVR if you’ve previously switched to a fixed rate tariff but have let it expire without switching to another deal.
Energy suppliers make money from your apathy to switching, so it always pays to compare energy suppliers and switch when your current deal is coming to an end – CAfS can help make sure your money stays in your pocket.
Being on an SVR also means you’re fully exposed to market fluctuations – if energy prices rise, so will your bills, even if you’re not using any more gas and electricity than normal. Back in the summer of 2008, for instance, the market was hit by price rises of 35%, which saw standard variable rates increase by a third overnight. Although it’s unlikely we’ll see another spike like that, it’s best to protect yourself against any price rises by switching to a fixed rate deal.
Saving money is the main reason to run an energy price comparison and switch with us – simply switching via CAfS could cut your average energy bills by as much as £383 a year.
It’s also worth switching if you’re unhappy with the service offered by your current supplier, or if you’re worried that it could go out of business. A combination of volatility in the energy market, the impact of the energy price cap and the cost of renewable energy targets has seen more than 10 suppliers go to the wall over the last year or so – if you’re worried your supplier could be in trouble, you should consider switching.
We partner with The Energy Shop to provide the comparison and switching service. They are a trusted name when it comes to comparing and switching energy suppliers. Founder members of the Ofgem Confidence Code back in 2003, their team of experts are dedicated to monitoring the energy market each day to find the best possible deals, whether you want to switch to a fixed rate tariff or find the best value green energy deal.
You could save more money on fuel and cut your carbon emissions by saving energy throughout your home. For more CAfS advice on saving energy see https://cafs.org.uk/for-your-home/ . Some households may be eligible for our free Cold to Cosy Homes service, with energy advice offered and includes free energy saving items fitted, so check out eligibility at https://cafs.org.uk/cafs-draughtproofing-energy-saving-services/
To compare gas and electricity prices with our service provided by The Energy Shop, visit CAfS website (https://cafs.org.uk/for-your-home/check-for-a-cheaper-energy-tariff/):
- Enter your postcode in the box at the top of the page.
- Enter your current energy supplier is along with your current tariff.
- Enter how much energy your household uses over 12 months. To help with this, use our electricity cost calculator.
- The energy calculator will show you the cheapest energy deal in your area.
- Choose the energy plan which suits you.
The switching tool will automatically send your application securely to your supplier of choice, who will then let your current supplier know that you want to leave.
The switch should then be completed within 21 days, meaning you’ll be enjoying lower gas and electricity bills within a matter of weeks.
The energy market changes daily, meaning prices can fluctuate from one day to the next – The Energy Shop energy experts input tariff data all day, every day, so they know how tricky it can be for households to find the best energy deals.
That’s why it makes sense to let The Energy Shop do all the hard work and find the best energy deals on your behalf.
By using our Ofgem approved energy price comparison engine, you can be sure you’re comparing the best deals available in your area but also comparing energy suppliers who will offer great customer service. We want to take all the hassle out of switching energy supplier. Partnering with The Energy Shop means your energy comparison shows best prices, that are also deals from trusted suppliers that protect you as a customer and ensure you don’t have to sacrifice quality to save money.
When choosing an energy supplier, we suggest that you weigh up the rates on offer alongside the quality of the provider. You can do this by asking the following questions:
- Do they have positive reviews?
- Will they be easy to contact if you have any issues?
- Is there an exit fee?
When you switch with CAfS via our partner The Energy Shop, you can be sure you’re switching to a quality supplier, whether you choose a Big Six energy supplier or a smaller provider.
The latest statistics from EnergyUK show that around 34% of customers are switching from what are considered as ‘larger suppliers’ to ‘small and mid-tier suppliers’, but you need to be cautious about being tempted by a supplier that simply offers low prices.
The energy market is constantly evolving and a number of new suppliers rush to the top of price comparison results pages based on price, only to find their customer service can be lacking as they struggle to handle the volume of customers that suddenly come their way. In doing so, this can lead to consumer frustration as teething issues set in so as we say consider price but also service.
CAfS may be able to help you with energy advice and tariff comparisons. To see if you are eligible for this free service see https://cafs.org.uk/cafs-draughtproofing-energy-saving-services/
21 days from the date you apply to switch is the industry standard for switching energy supplier.
The “Energy Switch Guarantee” ensures that switching supplier takes no longer than 21 days, including a 14 day cooling off period, whether you switch to one of the Big Six suppliers – British Gas, SSE, EDF Energy, Npower, Scottish Power and E.ON – or a smaller supplier, such as Octopus Energy, Shell Energy, So Energy and Bulb.
All switching applications come with a mandatory 14-day cool-off period should you wish to cancel your application and revert back to your original supplier.
The switching process itself is very straightforward and is dealt with by your old and new suppliers – the only thing you need to do is provide your old supplier with a final meter reading to close your account.
No, there will be no disruption to your supply when changing energy provider. When you switch, it’s just the provider that changes and your gas and electricity is still supplied through the existing pipes and cables, meaning there will be no loss of supply.
Yes, you should be able to switch energy supplier if you rent your property, but the way you go about it will depend upon who looks after the energy bills.
If you pay the energy bills directly to the property’s supplier, then you’re free to compare prices and switch at any time. If you’ve just moved into a rental property, you’ll be on your supplier’s more expensive standard variable tariff, so you should compare prices to find a cheaper energy deal as soon as possible.
If your landlord pays for the energy to the property, you need to speak to them about switching to the best possible energy tariff to ensure your bills are kept to a minimum. If you have just moved into a property and are not sure who supplies your gas and electricity then you should contact CAfS and start an energy comparison without delay. CAfS may be able to help you with energy advice and tariff comparisons. To see if you are eligible for this free service see https://cafs.org.uk/cafs-draughtproofing-energy-saving-services/
Yes. Prepayment meters don’t have the same range of tariffs available to choose from nor do all price comparison websites cater for prepayment customers, but you should still compare rates to find the best possible deal.
Prepayment meters are essentially “pay-as-you-go” energy – you top up your meter to pay for gas and electricity as you use it – but are also one of the most expensive ways to pay for energy. Even so, prepayment meters remain popular for around 6 million customers throughout the UK.
If you want to replace your prepayment meter with a standard credit meter or smart meter, you need to speak to your current supplier, bearing in mind that they may charge a fee for the work. If so, it’s worth haggling and threatening to switch to another supplier – you may find that they waive the installation fee for your continued custom.
The Ofgem Confidence Code is a voluntary code of conduct adhered to by a select number of price comparison sites, including The Energy Shop. The code is designed to protect consumers and ensure that each of the signatories to the code carry out in-depth, unbiased and accurate comparisons of the UK energy market at all times in a fair and consistent way.
The Energy Shop are proud to have been signatories of the Code since it’s foundation under Energywatch in 2003.