Finding the best price for your energy
Make sure you are not over-paying for your energy - by shopping around for a better deal. You can
- check with your energy supplier to see whether you could get a cheaper rate (also called a tariff)
- use the internet to compare energy tariffs with a range of energy suppliers by using an Ofgem accredited comparison site.
- join a collective switching scheme such as Big London Energy Switch
You can shop around using the internet. Once you have entered the information into a comparison website, it will compare suppliers and tariffs for you and give you a list of suitable options.
It is important to use an impartial website. Look for the 'Confidence Code' logo, which means that the comparison site has signed up to the voluntary code of practice to offer independent and unbiased comparisons. A list of the comparison sites accredited by the code can be found on the Ofgem website.
Visit the Citizens Advice energy website – Your Energy Supply for more information on understanding your energy bill, getting a better tariff, advice on solving problems with your bill or supplier. Citizens advice also offer an energy comparison tool where you can find suppliers offering the best prices. If you are a tenant, you can learn more about what your landlord can charge you for energy.
Further independent advice about switching suppliers is available from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service
Age UK has produced a factsheet on switching.
Big London Energy Switch
The Big London Energy Switch is a collective switching scheme run by a number of councils in London, including Ealing Council. It brings people together to use collective buying power to secure better deals on their gas and 100% renewable electricity bills. Anyone who pays a bill can take part, including tenants and customers on pre-pay meters. The process is as follows:
- Residents register their interest on the Big London Energy Switch website
- The scheme holds regular one-day auctions facilitated by a third-party (iChoosr).
- Energy suppliers will compete against each other to offer the cheapest tariffs to people who have registered
- Once an auction is complete, everyone who registered will be contacted with their own personal offer. They can then choose whether to switch or stay with their current deal.
- If a resident accepts their offer, iChoosr will work with the winning energy company to facilitate the switch, which will then be completed by the company
In the auction that took place in May 2020 more than 24,665 London households took part and 42,900 signed up nationwide. In Ealing, the highest annual saving on offer was for a dual fuel, fixed price, monthly direct debit online tariff with an average annual savings of £339!
We are delighted that in January 2020 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, formally launched London Power.
London Power is fair, reasonably-priced, green with 100% renewable electricity and specially designed for all Londoners. London Power was borne to provide energy that’s good for customer’s pockets, good for the environment and good for the community. Millions of Londoners struggle to pay for their energy because of inflated rates from big, old-fashioned energy companies. And we all know that energy can be confusing, but London Power makes it easy to get a great deal and provides world-class customer service. Any profits City Hall make will be reinvested into programmes which help to achieve the Mayor's social and environmental goals, helping to turn London into a zero-carbon city.
Green electricity tariffs
Supporting renewable sources of energy reduces reliance on fossil fuels. Many electricity companies now offer a 'green' tariff. These are not necessarily more expensive than other tariffs, but availability, price and quality vary. Comparison sites will give you information on green tariff options available to you.
A switching site that only deals with green tariffs is the Green Electricity Marketplace.
Warm Homes Discount
You can check whether you are entitled to any help towards the cost of your bills from your energy company. If you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, you may be able to claim the Warm Homes Discount. For winter 2020 to 2021, this could mean a £140 discount on your electricity bill. The 2020 to 2021 scheme will open on 12 October 2020. Visit the GOV.UK website for more information.
Each energy supplier has different eligibility criteria so contact your own supplier to see if you could benefit.
If you are having trouble paying your energy bills go to the keep warm, keep well pages for more advice.
Ring the Healthy Homes Ealing freephone helpline for energy efficiency advice on 0800 083 2265. Alternatively you can complete the Healthy Homes Ealing referral form to ask for a call back or to make a referral on behalf of someone else.