With numerous energy tariffs to choose from it can be a little difficult knowing where to start. Don’t worry, here’s an explanation of the most popular ones.
Dual fuel - This is where your gas and electricity are provided by the same energy supplier. You will often find that companies offer better energy tariffs to dual fuel customers as well as a discount on your bill for buying online. It can also make life much easier dealing with one company instead of two!
Fixed energy - This is where you pay an agreed unit price for your gas or electricity over a set period, meaning that you won’t be affected by any increase in energy prices. As a result, these plans can be more expensive at the outset. Keep in mind that you will also not benefit from any price cuts during the term of your plan. Make sure you choose an energy tariff that doesn't have any early exit fees, just in case you need to switch.
Capped energy – This tariff guarantees the unit price of your gas or electricity supply will not rise above a certain level. The unit price is usually higher than the standard rate but you would benefit from any price cuts during the life of your plan. As with fixed energy, these tariffs may be subject to exit fees if you leave before the capped period expires, so it is worth checking the details.
Online energy – These tend to be the cheapest gas and electricity tariffs that allow you to manage your account online. You will be able to access your recent statements as well as enter your own meter readings.
Economy 7 energy – This tariff offers cheaper electricity for 7 off peak hours at night and is usually favoured by people with high evening consumption or night storage heaters. You would need a special type of meter (which you might have to pay for) and use around 55% of your electricity at night for this tariff to be of benefit.
Economy 10 energy – This tariff offers cheaper electricity for 10 off peak hours during the afternoon and night time. Not all energy suppliers offer this tariff and like economy 7, you would need a special type of meter which could carry an additional cost.
Green energy – Most energy suppliers offer a green tariff which makes a contribution to environmental schemes. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the energy comes from renewable sources.
Prepayment energy – This is where customers pay for their gas or electricity in advance using a prepayment meter. You pay by topping up using a key, card or token and are charged a fixed fee as well as a cost per energy unit used. This method of payment can help some manage their finances but it is generally one of the most expensive options.