There have never been more energy suppliers in the UK. With so much choice available, how do you compare energy suppliers? Below we offer advice on how you can choose the right energy suppliers for your home or business.
Comparing Electricity Suppliers
When it comes to finding cheap electricity prices, there is more choice than ever. Choosing the right electricity supplier will depend on the amount of electricity you use and how you would like to pay for your energy.
For example, whether you want to pay via direct debit or using a pre-payment meter could affect the best supplier for you.
If it’s been more than a year since you switch electricity supplier, you’re likely to make real savings by comparing energy prices today.
Comparing Gas Suppliers
Once again, the cheapest gas supplier will depend on how you use your energy. Your tariff type and even where you are based in the UK can have a real impact on your energy bills.
By comparing energy suppliers with us, you can quickly find the best deals based on your energy usage and meter type. You can compare the latest gas prices from a huge range of trusted energy suppliers.
Top 14 Energy Suppliers
If you’d prefer to switch to a well-known provider, there is no better place to start than the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers. Despite increasing competition, the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers still hold a market share of around 70%.
Below we rank the top 14 energy suppliers in terms of their share of both the domestic electricity and gas markets.
Green Star Energy
Overall, the Big 6 energy companies (the first 6 on the list) still control 75% of the domestic electricity and 73% of the domestic gas markets. However that has been changing rapidly over the past decade. As the two charts below show.
Independent Energy Suppliers
Over recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of independent energy suppliers offering gas and electricity. Many of these providers feature as some of the best-rated energy suppliers on the market.
Independent suppliers will offer their own benefits including renewable energy tariffs, specialist pre-payment tariffs, or no standing charge tariffs.
With Power Compare, you can compare a wide range of trusted independent energy suppliers to ensure you have access to great energy deals.
Small Energy Suppliers
As competition has increased amongst energy suppliers, a number of small gas and electricity providers have entered the market.
Small energy suppliers often aim to offer cheaper rates by carrying lower overheads than many of the larger suppliers. However, this can lead to concerns from customers about the risk of their small energy supplier going out of business.
If you do switch to a small energy supplier, it’s worth remembering that you will be protected by Ofgem’s safety net. This means that if your supplier was to go out of business, you would be switched to an alternative supplier with no interruption to your gas and electricity supplier. You’re then free to stay with your new supplier or switch at any time with no exit fees.
Green Energy Suppliers
If you’re looking to switch to a renewable energy deal, there are a number of green energy suppliers now available.
Green energy has grown in popularity in recent years and the costs for consumers have reduced. Many suppliers, including Bulb Energy and Octopus Energy, now only offer renewable energy tariffs.
What to Consider When Comparing Energy Suppliers
There are a few things you should always consider before you compare energy suppliers. It’s important to remember that there is no one size fits all energy tariff. How you use energy, how you prefer to pay for your energy, and your location can affect the right tariff for you.
- Choose Your Tariff Type
It’s important to consider the type of tariff you would prefer before you switch energy suppliers.
For example, if you use gas and electricity infrequently, a no standing charge tariff could offer you the best energy prices.
- Choose How You Would Like to Pay
You should also consider how you would like to pay for your energy. Pre-payment tariffs offer a ‘pay-as-you-go’ option for customers where you top up using a key or card before consuming energy. However, paying via direct debit can often offer discounts on your gas and electricity rates.
When you switch energy suppliers, you can also choose from fixed or variable rates. A fixed rate offers certainty that you can pay the same unit rate throughout your energy contract. However, with a variable rate you can benefit from any reductions in the price of gas and electricity.
- Choose Your Contract Length
Energy contracts can vary between 12 months and up to 5 years for businesses whilst domestic contracts will more likely last up to 2 years.
The length of contract you commit to can change the unit rate offered by your energy supplier. It’s important to consider how long you would like to be tied to your new energy contract. You should bear in mind that many energy contracts will include exit fees for switching before your renewal window.
Where Can You Find The UK’s Energy Suppliers?
We’ll explain everything in greater detail below, but here are a few of the most interesting findings:
- Preston is the UK’s energy supplier capital with the greatest concentration of energy companies per capita. 12 in total or 1 for every 43,380 people.
- The PR7 postcode alone has 10 companies.
- Unsurprisingly, London has more energy companies than any other UK city at 25, but fewer per capita than Worcester, Swindon, Bournemouth, York, Gloucester, Coventry, Leeds or Nottingham.
- Only 1 of the Big 6 has their domestic division based in London (EDF). The others are based in Windsor (British Gas), Coventry (E.ON), Swindon (npower), Glasgow (Scottish Power) and Reading (SSE).
- 85 energy companies are located in areas with a Labour MP vs 80 in an area with a Conservative MP. So nationalisation could impact Labour areas slightly more than Conservative ones. None can be found in areas represented by the Lib Dems or Greens.
- PE (Peterborough) is the most populous postcode district (pop: 890,223) without a domestic energy supplier located there.
The UK energy industry is quite complex. Very simply you have the generators (electricity) and transporters (gas), transmission network (one for electricity and one for gas), distribution network operators (again separate for gas and electricity) and finally, you have the energy suppliers.
The energy suppliers are the companies you actually buy your electricity and gas from and who supply your home, although they may also be involved in other aspects of the industry.
That means the other 169 companies supply only 22% of the market, although this has been steadily growing over time.
But where are the all located?
We used Ofgem’s List of all electricity licensees with registered or service addresses and only looked at companies that supplied domestic electricity to customers.
In total that gives 175 suppliers.
Therefore, the map above and the data below excludes companies that only supply gas as well as companies that only supply business customers. It is also based on registered or service addresses which is why the Big 6 all have UK addresses listed despite many of them being foreign owed: EDF (France), npower/E.ON (Germany) and Scottish Power (Spain).
We then broke down location by postcode and used 2map.co.uk to create the map.
Here is a more detailed look at some of the findings.
Energy Suppliers By Postcode City
|Postcode City||Number of Companies|
Top 10 Postcodes
|Postcode||Number of Companies|
Most Energy Companies Per Capita
|Postcode City||Number of people per company|
Based on areas with at least 5 energy suppliers.
Number Companies By Postcode Based On Political Party At Westminster
|Political Party||Number of Comapnies|
This is based on the 2017 election results and looks at which party represents the area at Westminster.
*All data for London is only based on the London postcode districts (N,E,EC,SE,SW,W,WC,NW).
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