Getting the best energy deal
It’s currently recommended that “no action is the best action” for those who are protected by energy regulator Ofgem's price cap, as there are no deals meaningfully cheaper right now. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to understand what the price cap is and if this is part of your energy deal.
The energy price cap is set by the energy regulator Ofgem in a bid to limit the price a supplier can charge you per unit kWH (kilowatt-hour) of gas and electricity. The price cap does not limit your total energy bill, if you use more you still pay more, and only applies to customers who are on a standard variable tariff, which is usually the most expensive. If you’ve never switched, or your last switch was over a year ago, you’ll have usually defaulted to a standard or default tariff when your fixed period ends.
On 6 August 2021, Ofgem’s latest price cap was announced. An increase in wholesale energy costs as global demand recovers means the new cap has risen by £139, with the new cap now set at £1277 annually.
By making small simple changes, like closing curtains, wearing extra layers, transferring to LED and energy saver bulbs, and lowering your washing machine temperature, you can help to make significant savings, which can help to counteract the impact of rising energy bills.
There are also further services that can support you such as the Priority Services Register, Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel and Cold Weather Payments and the Affordable Warmth Grant.
Priority Service Registers
The Priority Services Register is a free support service provided by suppliers and network operators. Each energy supplier and network operator maintains its own register. To get on it, you need to contact your energy supplier. Being on the Priority Services register can help by:
- Giving you advance notice of planned power cuts. If you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons your network operator can tell you about planned power cuts. For example, when they plan engineering work.
- Providing priority support in an emergency. Network operators could provide heating and cooking facilities if you are cut off supply.
- Identification and password scheme. This could include arranging a password or agreed on picture cards if callers need to visit or contact you. This way you can feel confident they are genuine.
- Nominee scheme. You can nominate someone to receive communications and bills from your supplier. For example, a family member, carer or someone you trust.
- Help with prepayment meter access. For example, moving a meter if you can’t safely get to it to top up.
- Regular meter reading services. For example, if nobody can read your meter.
- Accessible information. For example, account info and bills in large print or braille.