Searching for the best value electricity deals

Searching for the best value electricity deals

What should you be looking out for with the new tariffs?

Obviously the unit rate is very important and the more electricity you use the more important it becomes. But many rates are banded within a narrow range from 17.5 pence to 18.5 pence. 

So a key thing to look out for is what offers are going to lower the bill and what charges are going to increase it.

Two suppliers Budget Energy and Click Energy are applying standing charges which come on top of the cost of all the units you use. These fees range from roughly £30 to £40 a year. So they’re not incidental. On the calculator we take these charges into account when we present the totals for comparison so you don’t have to add them in

What we don’t show in the totals however are the bonuses on offer. That’s for a number of reasons including the fact that you may not qualify for them.

But they’re increasingly important in the business of weighing up which supplier is right for you. Below are some of the more eye catching offers.

Budget Energy has recently unveiled a whopping £100 bonus through its Budget Advantage tariff  and is available for those who prepay with a keypad meter. The unit rate for this tariff is among the more costly on offer at 18.67 pence and is made more expensive with an annual standing charge of £36.62. The effective unit rate is almost 20 pence. For a typical home using 3200 units a year, the annual bill would be £634. However the £100 would reduce it to £534.

Electric Ireland also offer bonuses. For new keypad customers the maximum available is £40 with a £20 switching bonus at the start and a £20 loyalty payment 12 months after the switch. However the unit rate is lower than Budget Energy’s at 18.34 pence. For a typical home the annual bill would be £587. The switching bonus would reduce that by £20. The loyalty top up payment would produce a further £20 saving but the benefit would have to be realised after the first year was up. So an annual overall cost of £567 plus a £20 credit. 

Electric Ireland also offer bonuses to new credit customers. A switcher opting to pay by direct debit and to receive their bills online will get a £50 bonus. For a typical household, the annual bill will be £587 less the bonus which produces an overall cost of £537.

SSE Airtricity offers £55 worth of electricity to switchers opting for its Welcome Credit tariff which requires payment by direct debit and online billing. The unit rate is quite high at 18.76 pence. The numbers for a typical household work out like this: £600 less the bonus which produces a total of £545. The company also competes with itself by offering customers willing to pay by direct debit and get online billing with no bonus but at a lower rate at 16.97 pence. The overall cost for the average home works out at £543 

Not a massive difference between any of these tariffs. But they may well offer savings over your current deal. That said what’s critically important is to find out whether you qualify for the bonuses before you decide to whom you will give your custom.

This article and the calculator are to point you in the direction of possible savings. Before choosing a tariff, it’s essential you research supplier rates, offers and charges and other relevant information through sources independent of For's full terms and conditions please see Lastly you are advised to check calculator results with the help of other price comparison sites. 

Last updated on 07/11/2019

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Our calculator will assist you search for the tariff that suits your needs. Just answer the questions to find out how suppliers are ranked on cost. Then check what bonuses and penalties may apply. But before switching, you should read our terms and condit


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