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
If you get your gas and electricity from two separate energy companies, you’ve probably noticed that they’re always trying to persuade you to get both your fuels from them on a dual fuel plan.
So, what are they going on about, and why do they care? And why should you care?
What is 'dual fuel'?
A dual fuel plan or tariff is one where you get both your gas and electricity from the same supplier, on the same contract. It’s good for the supplier because they get the income from persuading you to take their gas as well as their electricity - or their electricity as well as their gas.
Luckily, it could be good for you, too. Many people find these tariffs more convenient and time saving, as you only get one bill and there’s only one dual fuel supplier to deal with if you have a question or problem. In today’s ultra-busy, multi-tasking world, anything that saves you time has got to be a good thing.
You can usually also get extra discounts for signing up to a dual fuel tariff - and anything that saves you money has also got to be a good thing too.
Find out more about our range of different energy plans.
Is dual fuel always the cheapest way to pay?
Not necessarily. If you really look around closely at all the possible energy providers, you may find the cheapest deal for you is to get your gas from one supplier and your electricity from another. However, most energy providers offer their customers a dual fuel discount, so it’s often a simple and convenient way for you to reduce the combined cost of your gas and electricity bills.
This discount will appear as a percentage taken off your bill, which your dual fuel supplier will deduct each month or at the end of a year.
A quick visit to a comparison site, searching for the best dual fuel deals, will help you work out whether you could save money by switching from from two separate contracts to a single dual fuel agreement.
Am I on a dual fuel contract already?
If you get both your fuels from the same supplier, but you’re not sure whether you’re actually on a dual fuel contract, 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 two different suppliers, you’re certainly not on a dual fuel contract.
Does a dual fuel contract offer me any other benefits apart from saving money?
It can make your life much simpler if you’re on a dual fuel contract, because you’re getting both fuels from the same provider. With dual fuel there’s just one bill or statement to check, and only one payment going out each month - so that’s just one payment to check on your bank statement, too.
If anything goes wrong, you only need to call one helpline or send one email if you’ve got any questions or complaints - and there’s only one company to inform if you’re moving home or switching your bank account.
Can anyone get a dual fuel contract?
Anyone who uses both mains electricity and mains gas can switch to a dual fuel contract. If you use just electricity, or electricity in conjunction with oil, solid fuel or bottled gas, you can’t sign up for dual fuel.
If I’m not already on dual fuel prices, is it easy to switch?
Yes, especially if you’re only switching one fuel – for example, if you’re switching your gas supply across to join your existing electricity provider, or vice versa. However, even 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.
You should start by comparing the prices of all the dual fuel suppliers in your area. You can do this individually, but nowadays the quickest and most accurate way is usually to use one of the comparison sites to search for the cheapest dual fuel rates. Find recent bills from both your current gas and electricity providers, so you know what you’re comparing the quotes with, and enter your postcode to get started.
The most accurate way to compare prices is to check your kilowatt hour (kWh) use . You can find it on your gas and electricity bills from your current energy provider(s). If you’re on a comparison site, simply type your kWh figures into the relevant box, and the site will be able to give you a very precise comparison of all the dual fuel rates and discounts on offer.
When you’ve found the best dual fuel deal, the site will point you towards your next step. You’ll probably 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. So the only thing you’ll notice is cheaper bills.
For example, you can see how easy it is to switch to OVO here
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. 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.
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.
A. Use less energy
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 generally be quite careful, you can save around £300 a year. You’ll also cut your home’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by around 1.5 tonnes – so you’re helping the planet, too.
Here are ten 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
- 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 30˚
B. Switch providers
No matter which energy company you’re currently with, it’s always worth checking the market regularly to see if you could save money by switching.
At OVO, we know that price matters – that’s why we keep our costs down, to help you save. You'll also get our 3% OVO interest reward on any credit in your account.
See how your current provider matches up next to our range of energy plans – you can compare energy prices for our electricity, gas and dual fuel plans. They’re based on a medium user, paying by Direct Debit, averaged across all UK regions. It’s the quick and easy way to compare utility prices.