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Top five cheapest energy deals for August 2017

If you’re a British Gas customer facing its latest price rise, switching to August’s cheapest deal could save you ?286. We’ve also uncovered a pricey deal with one of the biggest energy firms – if you’re on this tariff, switching to one of this month’s cheapest gas and electricity deals could save you up to ?353 in a year. The small energy firms are offering the cheapest deals again this month.

Iresa is offering the cheapest gas and electricity deal, and both its fixed and standard variable tariffs are currently the same price for a year. But standard variable tariffs are not usually the same price as firms’ fixed deals. They’re often a supplier’s priciest deal and the one you’ll automatically be transferred to if you take no action with your energy bills.

British Gas increased the price of its standard deal[1] earlier this week. So dual-fuel British Gas customers will see a ?76 increase in their bills, on average, over the next year. Read on to see the cheapest energy deals available this month and how much money you could save.

Compare gas and electricity prices to find the best deal for you using our independent gas and electricity comparison website Which?

Switch[2]. Or you can phone Which? Switch on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.

Save up to ?353 on your energy bill

The cheapest gas and electricity deal (from Iresa[3]) costs ?834 on average for a medium user per year.

Switch to it from Npower’s[4] standard tariff and you could save ?353 in a year. Even if you switch from British Gas’s[5] standard tariff (still the cheapest of the Big Six, for a medium user, even after its price rise), you’d still save ?286 per year. Standard tariffs have no exit fee or end date, so you can switch whenever you like.

Four of this month’s cheapest deals also come without an exit fee, leaving you free to switch energy firm again before the end of the deal if you spot a cheaper one.

Five cheap gas and electricity deals for August

We’ve calculated the five cheapest energy deals if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. The list below shows how much each tariff would save you per year, compared with British Gas or Npower’s standard tariff. We’ve chosen these because they’re the cheapest and priciest standard tariffs from the Big Six energy companies at the moment.

British Gas announced earlier this week that it will increase the price of its dual-fuel standard tariff by 7.3% from 15 September 2017. So we’ve based our calculations on its new price, as this is what you’ll be paying, per year, in a few weeks’ time.

  1. ?834 Iresa Limited Iresa Flex4 12month Fixed Direct Debit – Paperless. Fixed tariff with no exit fee. ?353 saving from Npower, ?286 saving from British Gas.
  2. ?834 Iresa Limited Iresa Flex4 Standard Variable – Paperless.

    Variable tariff with no exit fee. ?353 saving from Npower, ?286 saving from British Gas.

  3. ?843 Economy Energy Online Saver. Fixed tariff with ?25 exit fee per fuel. ?343 saving from Npower, ?277 saving from British Gas.[6]
  4. ?854 Tonik Energy Positively Renewable – Paperless. Fixed tariff with no exit fee. ?333 saving from Npower, ?266 saving from British Gas.[7]
  5. ?857 Avro Energy Simple and Value – Paperless.

    Fixed tariff with no exit fee. ?330 saving from Npower, ?264 saving from British Gas.[8]

If you live in Northern Ireland, our dedicated Northern Ireland electricity and gas suppliers[9] guide reveals the best and worst firms you can switch to, rated by their customers.

Energy tariffs to watch out for

Ovo Energy[10] launched a tariff aimed at drivers of electric cars[11] this week. EV Everywhere is a two-year fixed deal including membership of a network of electric vehicle charging stations for the period of the deal. The company estimates that Britain will have one million electric vehicles by 2022, after a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars[12] from 2040.

Good Energy and Ecotricity also offer tariffs for electric cars. Meanwhile, we’ve been keeping an eye on the priciest energy tariffs. Small supplier Glide[13]‘s variable dual-fuel tariff (Electricity and Gas – Paperless) has been the priciest for at least the past three months.

It costs ?1,404 per year for the average user. That’s ?570 more than this month’s cheapest deal.

?570: the amount you could be overpaying if you’re on the priciest tariff available

Glide says it’s the ‘market-leading utility provider for shared accommodation’ and specialises in supplying tenants, landlords and letting agents. It provides home phone, broadband and TV, as well as gas and electricity, on one bill to tenants in shared accommodation who only each want to pay their own share.

Economy Energy is also currently offering a deal that costs more than Npower’s standard tariff. Economy Energy’s Evergreen Direct Saver costs ?1,128 per year – ?394 pricier than the cheapest deal. (How our prices are calculated: Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff for an average user (using 3,100kWh of electricity and 12,500kWh of gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills and are averaged across all regions.

Exact prices can vary according to region, usage and payment method. Prices are rounded to the nearest whole pound. The prices given in the list above are correct as of 2 August 2017.)

References

  1. ^ British Gas increased the price of its standard deal (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Which?

    Switch (switch.which.co.uk)

  3. ^ Iresa (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Npower’s (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ British Gas’s (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ Economy Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Tonik Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Avro Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ Northern Ireland electricity and gas suppliers (www.which.co.uk)
  10. ^ Ovo Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  11. ^ electric cars (www.which.co.uk)
  12. ^ ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars (www.which.co.uk)
  13. ^ Glide (www.which.co.uk)

Have you been with your energy supplier longer than with your spouse?

Some energy users have been with the same supplier for 54 years or more, exclusive Which? research reveals. In sickness and in health, through price rises and prompts to switch, these customers have remained loyal to their gas and electricity provider. If this sounds like you, does your relationship with your energy supplier predate that with your partner?

A quarter of energy customers have ‘always’ been with their energy supplier, according to our survey of more than 8,000 people.*

  • A fifth (21%) of people aged 75 or older told us that they’ve been with their energy supplier ‘always’. If you’re in this group, you can celebrate a golden anniversary with your firm – as you could have been one of its customer for 54 years or more.
  • Of those aged between 65 and 74, a quarter (25%) say they have always been with their energy firm – potentially making them a customer for 44 years or more.
  • Aged 35 and above? A quarter (24%) of those aged 35 to 44 have been with their energy supplier for 14 years.

Meanwhile, the average marriage length is 11.9 years, according to the Office of National Statistics’ latest figures (of those divorcing in 2015).

Read on to find out which firm’s customers are most loyal, and if their reasons for staying with their supplier stand up to our scrutiny.

If you’ve never switched, you should be able to save the most by finding a cheaper energy deal. Compare gas and electricity prices[1] with our independent energy comparison website Which? Switch to see how much you could save on energy. Or phone us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.

British Gas, EDF Energy, Npower: whose customers are most loyal?

The energy market in Great Britain was privatised in the 1990s and customers split between six energy suppliers: British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE.

Today these are referred to as the ‘Big Six’ and the ‘incumbent’ suppliers. If you have always been with the same energy firm, and started paying for energy before privatisation, you’ll be supplied by one of these firms. British Gas has the greatest percentage of customers who told us they’ve ‘always’ been with the firm.

Nearly half (47%) have never switched, compared with 15% of Scottish Power’s customers who told us they have ‘always’ been with the company. Our reviews reveal what energy customers really think of the Big Six energy firms[2]. If you’ve taken no action at all on your energy bills, you’ll be on your energy firm’s standard variable tariff.

This is also often its most expensive deal. Npower customers on its standard tariff have the most to save by switching, out of customers with the Big Six suppliers. Its standard tariff costs ?1,186 for a year – ?353 more than the current cheapest deal on the market for an average user.

Top five reasons for staying loyal to your energy company

Nearly half (47%) of people have been with their energy supplier more than five years, and a further 21% have been with them for two to five years, according to our survey.

The top reason for staying with an energy firm is being happy with the current supplier (48%), followed by believing all suppliers are the same so there’s no point in switching (22%) and having checked the prices of other suppliers and being on a good deal already (22%). But there are big differences between the best and worst energy suppliers[3], according to our survey of more than 8,000 of their customers. Results reveal a 34 percentage point gap between the highest and lowest-scoring suppliers.

Even if you’re on a good energy deal now, keep an eye on your bills. Fixed energy deals usually last for one or two years; after this, you’ll be automatically moved onto your supplier’s standard tariff if you take no action. This can cost you hundreds of pounds more over a year.

If your fixed deal is coming to an end, look for a new cheap deal. Your energy supplier cannot charge you an exit fee in the last 49 days of your deal. *Online survey of 8,657 members of the general public in Great Britain who are responsible for paying their energy bills in October 2016.

Our estimates of how long people could have been customers are based on becoming a customer at 21 years old.

References

  1. ^ Compare gas and electricity prices (switch.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Big Six energy firms (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ best and worst energy suppliers (www.which.co.uk)

Eight energy deals ending that could up your bill by £300+

The sun is out, you haven’t touched the heating for weeks, but your energy bill could still be mounting faster than you realise if your energy deal is coming to an end this month. Npower and First Utility customers watch out: deals ending from these suppliers would add more than ?350 to your energy bill over the next year if you fail to find a new deal or supplier. Eight fixed tariffs ending this month could cost customers more than ?300.

The average bill increase is ?266 over a year if your fixed deal ends in July and you take no action. Nineteen energy tariffs come to an end this month. At the end of a fixed tariff, you’re automatically put onto your energy supplier’s standard tariff if you don’t switch to another deal or supplier.

A standard tariff is often an energy firm’s most expensive deal. Read on to see if your deal is among those ending this month, to find out the cheapest deals you could switch to – plus whether new government rules could cut your energy bills.

Use our independent energy switching service, Which? Switch, to compare gas and electricity prices[1].

Or you can phone us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.

Fixed energy deals ending in July 2017

The highest hike you could face if your deal is ending this month is ?399 extra on your bill over the next year. That’s if you don’t take action and switch to a new deal or energy supplier. To help you keep on top of costs, we’ve listed below the eight deals that could see your bill rise by more than ?300 over the next year.

Check if yours is listed, and make sure you compare energy prices to find the best new deal for you. Other deals ending are listed below. The list shows the average price difference between the tariff ending and the standard tariff onto which you’ll move automatically, if you do nothing.

Scroll down to see the cheapest tariffs you could switch to.

  1. ?399 bill increase – Npower[2] Online Price Fix July 2017 Paperless
  2. ?389 bill increase – First Utility[3] First Fixed July 2017 v10 Paperless
  3. ?388 bill increase – First Utility First Fixed July 2017 (ONLINE ONLY) Paperless
  4. ?360 bill increase – EDF Energy[4] Blue+Price Promise July 2017 Paperless
  5. ?340 bill increase – First Utility First Fixed July 2017 v7 ONLINE ONLY Paperless
  6. ?326 bill increase – EDF Energy Blue+Price Promise July 2017v2 Paperless
  7. ?324 bill increase – Scottish Power[5] Online Fixed Price Energy July 2017 Paperless
  8. ?308 bill increase – First Utility First Fixed July 2017 (Full Service) Paperless

(The prices above are based on an average dual-fuel user, paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless billing, averaged across the UK. Exact prices vary by region, usage and payment method.)

Other gas and electricity deals ending in July

The other 11 energy tariffs that are ending this month, but would increase your annual bill by a smaller amount are:

?200-?300 increase

EDF Energy Blue+Price Protection Jul17 – Paperless. EDF Energy Blue+Price Protection Jul17v2 – Paperless.

First Utility First Fixed July 2017 V8 Full Service – Paperless. First Utility First Fixed July 2017 v9 plus 100 Reward ONLINE ONLY – Paperless. First Utility First Fixed July 2017 v11 plus 75 Reward ONLINE ONLY – Paperless. GnERGY[6] Fixed July 2017 – Paperless. Sainsbury’s Energy[7] Fixed Price July 2017 – Paper and Paperless.

?100-?200 increase

Sainsbury’s Energy Price Freeze July 2017 – Paper and Paperless.

Sainsbury’s Energy Price Promise July 2017 – Paper and Paperless.

Up to ?100 increase

Affect Energy[8] Fixed Saver July 2017 Paperless will add ?99 to your energy bills over the next year if you don’t switch. EDF Energy Blue+Price Freeeeze July 2017 Paperless adds ?7.

Top five cheapest energy deals now

You can’t be charged an exit fee in the last 49 days of your fixed gas or electricity deal, so you’re free to switch. The cheapest dual-fuel deals available UK-wide at the moment are:

  1. ?834 – IRESA[9] Flex4 12month Fixed Direct Debit Paperless
  2. ?834 – IRESA Flex4 Standard Direct Debit Paperless (variable tariff)
  3. ?843 – Economy Energy[10] Online Saver
  4. ?857 – Avro Energy[11] Simple and Value Paperless
  5. ?861 – Green Network Energy[12] GNE Italian Touch 12 Month Fixed V7 Paperless

Is your energy bill about to get cheaper?

Energy regulator Ofgem promised ‘tougher price controls’ for the networks that distribute gas and electricity to our homes.

Ofgem said that ‘clear evidence’ suggests that ‘the cost of investment required for networks [is] significantly lower’ and this will be reflected in its next price controls in 2021. Citizens Advice said Ofgem had allowed companies to make ?7.5bn ‘unjustified profit’ over eight years, at the expense of the consumer. It called on the regulator to return this to consumers by using a rebate to lower energy bills.

(How our prices are calculated: Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff for an average user (using Ofgem averages of 3,100kWh of electricity and 12,500kWh of gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills and are averaged across all regions. Exact prices can vary according to region, usage and payment method. Prices are rounded to the nearest whole pound.

The prices given above are correct as of 18 July 2017.)

References

  1. ^ compare gas and electricity prices (switch.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Npower (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ First Utility (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ EDF Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Scottish Power (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ GnERGY (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Sainsbury’s Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Affect Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ IRESA (www.which.co.uk)
  10. ^ Economy Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  11. ^ Avro Energy (www.which.co.uk)
  12. ^ Green Network Energy (www.which.co.uk)