This guide is intended to provide general guidance only. It is not intended to give you advice on your personal financial circumstances. You should seek independent professional advice if you’re unsure about anything mentioned in this guide or what choices to make.
Who has the cheapest gas and electricity in the UK? It’s a useful question to ask if you are considering switching, but the answer is actually a little complex – depending on where you live, and what type of tariff you use.
In this guide, we’re going to keep it simple. We’ll look at which regions have the cheapest energy, who has the cheapest fixed deal, who has the cheapest variable tariff, and whether cheap is always best.
Energy pricing in the UK is largely divided into two different types of deals: standard variable tariffs, that most Big Six customers are on; and cheaper fixed rate deals, that are typically offered to people switching to a new tariff.
On top of this, energy prices also vary by region, due to the differing costs of serving customers in different areas. The following map is a quick visual summary of how prices vary around the UK.
For both the fixed and variable tariffs, the East Midlands have the lowest prices, while South West England and Northern Wales are both more expensive. The average variable tariff in each region is typically £100 more expensive than a fixed one, but this can vary dramatically depending on the supplier.
There are over 70 fixed tariffs available in the UK, but some aren’t available nationwide. To give you an idea of who the cheapest is, we’ve compared the fixed rates of the Big Six providers with six independent energy providers. In each case we’ve taken the average price across the 14 different regions.
Based on the energy use of a typical home, fixed price deals range from as little as £850 from Extra Energy, all the way up to £1,075 for British Gas. OVO’s Better Energy tariff is a very competitive £876, but isn’t the cheapest of the widely available tariffs compared here.
Cheap deals like the ones shown on the left half of this graph are available to anyone prepared to switch energy providers. The extent of what you’ll actually save will depend on your current deal, where you live and how much energy you are using. The only way to know for sure is to get a quote. Here at OVO we have a quick calculator or you can use a comparison site like uSwtich or Which?.
You also need to be careful to ensure you get a new fixed deal after a year – to make sure you aren’t rolled onto a more expensive standard variable tariff. This happens automatically at OVO, so you’ll receive a new offer in the weeks before your current one expires.
Around two thirds of Big Six customers are on what is called a standard variable tariff. This is the type of tariff people tend to end up on if they stay with the same provider for a while. At OVO most of our customers are on fixed priced deals. This is part of our commitment to fair energy.
Here is the data for the same 12 providers, but now with their variable tariffs (see below).
As you can see, variable tariff deals are considerably more expensive than fixed price deals. Based on this data from early September, variable prices for the typical user range from Extra Energy’s £1,130 at the top, down to OVO’s £1,004 rate.
In many cases after one year on a cheap fixed price deal, customers end up being rolled onto a company's standard variable tariff. At OVO not only is the variable tariff among the most competitive on the market, but a large share of customers take up a new fixed offer to keep their costs down.
OVO has also been an active participant in the government's Consumer and Markets Authority competition review, in which we have campaigned for a crackdown on the practice of subsidising loss leading fixed rate tariffs by overcharging loyal customers on standard variable tariffs.
If your goal is to get the absolutely cheapest rate possible, then you should simply jump on one of the many price comparison sites and look for the lowest rate. Although OVO is one of the cheaper providers on the market, its main aim is to be a better energy company by combining fair pricing for all its customers with great service.
Of course, you don’t need to take OVO’s word for this. Over the past year our customers have helped us win numerous awards. The two we're most proud of are:
If you are interested in checking how much you might save by switching to OVO, you’ll only need five minutes to get a quote.
*Source and notes for graphs and table
Tariff prices sourced from uSwitch Insight Portal, accessed on 11/9/15 and averaged across all regions. Ovo Better Energy includes online discount and is for direct debit customers. Average Big Six SVT price is for direct debit customers but excludes paperless or online discounts. Estimated consumption of each house type based on Ofgem typical domestic consumption values 2015, low, medium and high users. (Profile Class 1 for electricity).
Typical fixed and variable energy bills by region
Data for typical dual fuel users. Calculated with prices available on 11/9/2015
The cheapest fixed price energy deals in the UK
Source: data for the typical dual fuel user. Calculated with prices available on 11/9/2015
The cheapest variable price energy deals in the UK
Sources: Data for the typical dual fuel user. Calculated with prices available on 11/9/2015
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OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.