Dual fuel energy tariffs: What are they, and why should you get one?
02 December 2021 | OVO Energy | -1
Dual fuel plans can be the cheapest way to get your energy supplied. All it means is you’ll get both gas and electricity from the same supplier, instead of 2 separate ones.
Read on to find out how a dual fuel tariff can save you money on your gas and electricity bills.
In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know about:
What is dual fuel?
A dual fuel plan or tariff is one where you get both your gas and electricity from the same supplier. There are 3 main reasons why choosing a dual fuel tariff is a good idea:
- The best dual fuel deals can mean you get cheaper energy. Many suppliers offer discounts if you’re buying both fuels from them, which works out cheaper for you!
- It’s more convenient getting bills from 1 company. Some suppliers even offer a combined bill, making life even simpler
- It can be time-saving to only have 1 point of contact in case of queries or complaints, or even if you’re moving house.
Are dual fuel energy plans cheaper?
Dual fuel plans are often cheaper, but not always. Energy tariffs change constantly, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the market. You might find that getting gas and electricity from separate suppliers is cheaper one year, but dual fuel is cheaper the next.
But generally speaking, most energy suppliers offer their customers a dual fuel discount. This alone can make dual fuel a quick and simple way to reduce the combined cost of your gas and electricity bills.
The discount could come in a number of ways:
- A cheaper unit rate per kilowatt hour (kWh)
- A lower standing charge
- A percentage taken off your bill
Is there anything else different about dual fuel?
Apart from getting 2 fuels from one supplier, possibly for a cheaper price, there are no other differences. The gas and electricity you’re supplied with is exactly the same as it would be on separate tariffs.
How can I switch to a dual fuel energy tariff?
If you’re not already on a dual fuel plan, it’s pretty easy to switch – especially if you’re only adding one fuel to your existing supplier.
If you can only get the best deal on dual fuel prices by switching both fuels across to a completely new supplier, it’s still a quick and easy process.
Start by comparing the prices of all the dual fuel suppliers in your area. Here at OVO, getting a quote is a cinch. Just have a recent bill to hand from your current gas and electricity supplier(s), so you know what you’re comparing the quotes with, and then enter your postcode to get started.
The most accurate way to compare prices is to check your kilowatt hour (kWh) use per year. You can find it on gas and electricity bills from your current energy supplier(s). Simply type your kWh figures into the relevant box, and you’ll be able to see a very precise comparison of all the dual fuel rates and discounts on offer.
When you’ve found the best dual fuel deal, you’ll just need to enter a few personal and bank details. There shouldn’t be any long-winded paperwork, and your new dual fuel supplier should take care of everything else for you. The only thing you’re likely to notice is cheaper bills!
What should I look for when comparing dual fuel deals?
There are a few things that are important when looking for a dual fuel deal:
- Price: for many, this is the most crucial thing. Luckily, by comparing dual fuel prices, you can definitely find a cheaper deal.
- Supplier ratings: a good reputation for customer service is vital. If you need to contact your supplier for any reason, you’ll be thankful you paid that little bit extra, rather than just going for the cheapest option.
- Greener energy: in the fight against climate change, switching to renewable energy to power your home is one of the most impactful things you can do.
- Exit fees: If you decide to leave your contract early, it’s good to know how much you’d have to pay to be released from your contract.
- Contract length: a low price may mean a longer contract, which could stop you switching if a better deal comes along and you have exit fees to pay.
Am I on a dual fuel contract already?
If you get both gas and electricity from the same supplier, chances are you’re on a dual fuel tariff, but that’s not for sure. The easiest way to find out is to check your energy bills or statements. If they don’t seem to show that you’re on a dual fuel deal, call your supplier to find out, and ask whether you could save money by changing to dual fuel prices.
If you currently get your gas and electricity from 2 different suppliers, you’re certainly not on a dual fuel contract.
Do all energy suppliers offer dual fuel tariffs?
Many suppliers offer dual fuel tariffs, but not all. Check out a couple of different options to help you decide which one to go for.
Will I get the same gas and electricity with dual fuel as I would on a single fuel contract?
Yes. You’ll get exactly the same gas and electricity delivered to your home. All suppliers use the same pipes and cables to deliver their energy. The only difference is that you’re getting them at a lower price because the energy supplier is thanking you for letting them supply both your fuels.
Can anyone get a dual fuel contract?
Anyone who uses both mains electricity and mains gas can switch to a dual fuel contract.
But if you use just electricity, or electricity with oil, solid fuel or bottled gas, it’s not possible to sign up for dual fuel.
How else can I cut my energy costs?
If you’re already on a dual fuel contract, or you can’t find one that would save you money, here are some other cost-cutting suggestions.
Be more energy-efficient
The best way to use less energy and reduce your bills is to make sure your home and all your electrical appliances are working as efficiently as possible.
If you insulate your roof and walls, improve your heating system, and take other steps to avoid wasting energy (see below), you can save around £300 a year1. You could also cut your home’s carbon emissions by around 1.5 tonnes – so you’d be helping the planet, too.
Here are 10 ways to become more energy-efficient:
- When you boil a kettle, only use as much water as you need
- Turn appliances off at the wall – don’t leave them on standby
- Use energy-saving light bulbs
- Defrost your freezer regularly
- Fill that cavity! Cavity wall insulation can cut around £115 off your heating bill each year
- Get draught excluders for outside doors, windows and letterboxes
- Replace all your old windows with double glazing – it could save you around £135 each year
- If your boiler’s more than 15 years old, look into replacing it with a new A-rated condensing boiler, or find a low-carbon alternative
- Slip an insulating jacket on your hot water tank – you could save around £35 a year
- When using your washing machine, never set it higher than 30C
For more handy tips, check out our ideas for 120 ways to help save energy and our guide to why your gas and electric bills might be too high, and what to do about it.
OVO Greenlight - our brilliant energy saving tool
OVO Greenlight is included for free on all OVO Plans, and helps you do loads of cool things:
Get an even greener home
See where in your home you use the most electricity or gas (hello, cooker) – and spot ways you can cut waste. With our simple breakdown and tailored tips, you’ll save cash – and cut carbon.
Shrink those energy bills
Use the tips and advice waiting for you, and you could take a good chunk out of your bills.
Power up at greener times
Our handy tool shows you when the energy grid is greenest. So you can do those 10 loads of washing when it’s kinder for planet Earth. And help the UK ditch coal – for good!
Keep tabs on your home’s carbon footprint
OVO Greenlight can show you how green your home really is. It can even compare its footprint with other homes like yours.
Got a working smart meter? You can also get a weekly breakdown showing you where you use (and can save) energy. And if you don’t have a smart meter yet, find out how to get one installed for free with OVO.
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