Cheapest Energy Supplier

Are Dual Fuel Deals Cheaper?

In short, it depends who is asking.

Large business customer looking for a new contract? Absolutely not.

Domestic customer exploring their contract options? Maybe… But not for the reasons you may think.

Don’t worry, we will explain all in this article. First, it may be a good idea to provide a little bit of background information on what these contracts types are.

Dual Fuel – double the savings?

Dual fuel contracts as a concept are much simpler to understand than flexible contracts, and as such, we will spend only a brief moment covering the background to how they work and operate.

Most energy suppliers will offer more than one energy type as part of their product line-up. For customers looking to procure both electricity and gas for their property, it is often a lengthy and boring process to search and find the cheapest supplier for each of these energy types. Following on from this is then the added frustration of dealing with different suppliers, different invoices, and generally double the time spent on handling utilities. If only there was a better way of doing things…

Enter the dual-fuel contract.

Some energy suppliers will offer a small discount if customers are supplied with gas and electricity from the same company. The main selling point for consumers isn’t the small (it really is quite insignificant) saving, but rather just having one monthly bill covering everything.

The Biggest Red Flag

Now, we have already covered the basics of what these two contract types are and how they operate – but as always in the energy industry, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

When searching for a new energy contract it is not unusual to make contact with a broker, either directly or indirectly. Sometimes brokers will reach out to potential customers first to try and entice them into working with them. There is nothing inherently wrong with this – brokers fill a huge gap in the market and most brokers bring an invaluable service into the UK economy.

But.

There are some brokers out there that exploit some lesser-known loopholes to part customers with their cash, often utilising unscrupulous methods. Due to the minimal barriers to entry into the industry and how little the broker commission side of things is regulated, there are some ‘get rich quick’ energy brokers out there that tarnish the reputation of the industry.

So, what does this have to do with dual fuel contracts?

If you are a commercial/business energy customer, and you have an energy broker approach you with a dual-fuel contract opportunity – run for the hills. As far away as possible from that broker, ideally.

Because they do not exist for commercial properties. Although you may be able to potentially secure both a gas supply and electrical supply from the same supplier, you will not be able to combine them in the same way a domestic dual-fuel customer would.

As such, you can then draw one of two conclusions about the broker that offered you this ‘most exclusive’ (literally) of deals.

  1. The broker simply doesn’t know what they are talking about and is entirely unaware of their gaff.
  2. The broker knows what they are talking about, and is lying in order to obtain a favourable outcome for themselves.

Both of these don’t exactly spell out a happy ending for the customer…

If you hear of this, or have it happen to you – avoid, avoid, avoid.

Special tariffs, or just nicely parcelled?

Often the appeal of dual fuel contracts is a combination of exclusive prices and complete peace of mind.

But only one of these is really true.

It is absolutely true that dual fuel tariffs can save a huge bunch of time and hassle as all of your energy dealings are in one place, one quote, and one point of contact.

But it is absolutely not true that you gain access to special rates by virtue of being a dual fuel contract owner. The rates you are offered are in dual contracts are most likely the exact same rates as those offered for the individual supply of those utilities.

There may be some savings offered, but these are few and far between, and often not very much at all.

It all really boils down to how valuable is your peace of mind? If place a premium on your relaxation time, a dual fuel contract that cuts down on hassle may be the option for you…

Flexible contracts – no real price?

Flexible contracts are a new(ish) contract type that helps to pass on the benefits of the wholesale energy market to consumers, the price they pay for their energy being dependant on movements in wholesale price.

The profile shape of the customer’s demand (consumption) trend is split into two separate categories. These are the baseload and peak. The baseload can be thought of as the bulk of demand and is the predictable portion of the customer’s energy. Most businesses will be able to provide pretty accurate estimations as they have access to much more detailed levels of data. This is usually through combinations of smart meters, sub-meters, and even auditing.

The peak is essentially the spike in demand outside of predictable baseload. The stuff that nobody foresaw needing. This peak demand makes up the tradeable volume that is able to be traded within flexible contracts.

The wholesale market trades this volume in set blocks, although the match-up between the block and customer profile may not entirely match. As a result of this – customers are able to buy a block of energy that may or may not exceed their total usage. There are actions to resolve any mismatches of demand and purchased volume.

Where the purchased baseload and peak volumes exceed the customers profile the gas can be sold back to the supplier. In addition to this, when purchased baseload and peak volumes fall under actual customer consumption needs, customers are able to ‘top-up’ and purchase extra volume in smaller blocks.

This is where the term ‘flexible’ energy contract really comes from – it allows a much greater degree of freedom to the customer. This is the vector by which the risk and reward of the wholesale market are passed onto customers.

Source: Business Juice

What is cheaper?

Back to the original question posed at the beginning of the article. Are dual fuel contracts cheaper?

For business customers, no. Not at all. Although it is easy to say this, this contract type simply doesn’t exist for commercial customers. A cheaper option could be to look into flexible contracts as an avenue to explore. We have oh so helpfully included a breakdown of flexible contracts in the section before this if it applies to you.

For domestic customers, also no. This will take a little bit of explaining so hold tight for a second.

Although there may be small savings offered by suppliers who provide dual fuel contracts, these really are not enough to consider them the ‘cheapest’ option. These discounts aren’t even offered by some suppliers. Further to this, comparison websites don’t even offer to search for dual contracts as an option!

It can work out cheapest to go with both supplies from the same supplier, but it is only cheaper because the two separate deals are the cheapest as individuals already, and not because it is a dual fuel contract.

This is a wordy explanation, we know.

For domestic customers, the tried and tested way to ensure you are getting the cheapest deal on both your electricity and gas is to search and compare each utility separately. If there appear to be suitable utility supplies from one supplier at a good price point, it may be worthwhile to enquire about dual fuel contracts.

Left feeling a little confused?

We recognise that the energy industry is a complicated place and not everything makes perfect sense.

But we’re here to help with that.

At Energy Solutions, we have a wealth of experience in the energy industry – operating for over twenty years. Our friendly energy procurement experts are up to date with the latest happenings, product offerings, and essentially – everything energy!

If you have any questions for our energy experts or would like to enquire about our services – we can be reached during all office hours on 0131 610 1688.

Alternatively, you can contact us online via webform or via email – nick@energybrokers.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Google Snippets

What are dual fuel contracts?

Dual fuel contracts are a contract option for customers looking for two different energy type supplies into the same property, that can be provided by the same supplier. When suppliers combine these two utilities supplies into the same monthly contract/invoice

How do dual fuel contracts work?

Dual fuel contracts work by combining all of your utilities billing into one convenient and easily managed space. This can only happen if your utilities are supplied by the same supplier.

What is cheaper, flexible or dual fuel?

This is somewhat of a trick question – and needs to be broken down slightly. Dual fuel contracts are really only available to domestic customers, and savings are pretty minimal. Flexible contracts are conversely really only available to business customers but can swing both ways (dependant on wholesale market movements). Flexible contracts definitely offer the most savings, but also the risk to be left paying a higher rate.

Who can use dual fuel contracts?

Dual fuel contracts are only available to non-commercial customers who can organise multiple utility supplies from the same supplier, for the same property.

Who is the Cheapest Energy Supplier?

If there is one thing that the energy industry is known for – it is being bloody difficult to understand.

There seems to be more jargon, hidden fees, shady brokers, and weird rules than you can shake a stick at. There are millions spent on fancy advertising campaigns, hours spent on public relations, and departments set up with only one intention in mind – getting you, the customer, to sign their supply contract.

But all of this kind of misses the point.

Unless you are looking for a specific product type (green gas, for example) to meet your business needs – there is only one metric that counts. It’s how much you have to pay for your energy!

It amazes me that there has not been more emphasis on this factor – if a company can supply the cheapest energy in the UK, it would be my first port of call when finding a supplier.

The Variability of Price

But, as we will all find out at some point during our adult life, nothing is ever simple when dealing with energy suppliers…

There are around 60 different energy suppliers that provide gas and electricity across the UK. Each of these suppliers will calculate the prices they offer to customers differently. We have created a non-exhaustive list of some of the lesser-known factors that affect pricing:

  • Location
  • Consumption
  • Date of Contract Start
  • Broker Commission
  • Standing Charges
  • Unit Price
  • Meter Costs
  • Installation Costs
  • Maintenance and Servicing
  • ‘New Customer’ Status

The Cheapest Prices, by circumstance

As you can probably tell by now, personal circumstance plays a huge part in which energy contract is the cheapest for you.

In order to demonstrate the utter insanity that is energy contract pricing, we have concocted the table below. Using all of the data available to us we have calculated (using real, genuine prices) which supplier offers the best prices in three main categories.

We have split up the table into three sections: The supplier at hand, the particular area of dominance, and the description of the charge.

SupplierArea of DominanceDescription
EDF Energy OnlineAnnual CostThis is the estimated total cost for the year.
EDF Energy OnlineUnit PriceThe price per unit of energy consumed.
Utilita EnergyStanding ChargeFixed cost per day of supply.
Based on a small business in London with AQ of 75,000 kWh, paying by DD, single rate 03 meter, and start date of 1/6/21.  

Simple, right? Not really.

Luckily, we have access to supplier prices to analyse like this… You don’t. The only tool that comes close to being able to offer this type of insight is dedicated price comparison websites.

A change to any single one of those variables underneath the table will result in an entirely different batch of prices to calculate.

Now the scale of the problem becomes apparent.

The Big Six – All bark, No Bite

Although they may be the biggest suppliers in the UK – this does not mean they are the cheapest. Due to the incredible power and market share that these companies hold, this is how the narrative of ‘bigger is better’ is perpetuated.

When it comes to energy, however, size isn’t everything.

Recently, smaller suppliers have found reasonable success by offering their supply at much lower prices

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The Only Way to Guarantee the Cheapest Energy

It may seem like a little bit of a strange way to finish this article – but seriously, don’t waste your money or time looking for the cheapest deal.

This way of thinking doesn’t really work when looking for energy contracts for your business.

As we have already covered, there are so many factors that come into play when calculating your monthly billing. It’s not just things that you can control like consumption, but also silly little things like your postcode or the month of the year you are looking to sign a contract…

This ultimately means that you have a snowman’s chance in hell of ever finding the cheapest contract.

So, just give up and sign the first contract you stumble across, right?

No! Speak to Energy Solutions.

Energy Solutions – Snowman Specialists

I really like the Snowman metaphor, so we’re keeping it going. Deal with it.

Back to the point at hand – there is really only one way that you will be able to truly find the cheapest energy contract available, and that is to sit back and relax while Energy Solutions do all the work.

Unless you are willing to commit the many hours it takes to understand even the simplest of pricing matrixes, of course.

Energy Solutions have over twenty years worth of energy procurement experience, which has resulted in a few competitive advantages over competitors:

  • Incredible prices: Twenty years of building partnerships with suppliers = exclusive prices.
  • Peace of Mind: For the entire lifetime of your contract, we will validate all bills and invoices sent to you. Always pay what you are supposed to.
  • Personal Advisors: Ever unsure about something? We’re there to help.
  • Dedicated Brokers: Our business is finding the best prices for customers, it is what we do.
  • Knowledge Source: The energy market is forever changing due to legislation and taxes – we will tell you what this means for your business, before it happens.
  • Transparency: We aim to break the mould on how brokers operate. We spend a fair chunk of time preparing informative articles to save our customers money.

The best way to be certain you’re getting a great deal on your business electricity is to contact Energy Solutions today!

Contact us in the following ways to receive a quote – we look forward to hearing from you!

Our website: www.energybrokers.co.uk

Our phone number: 0131 610 1688

Our E-mail: nick@energybrokers.co.uk

Google Snippets

Who has the cheapest gas for businesses?

There is no way of telling who can offer the cheapest gas for your business without first telling us a little about your circumstance – get in touch now and we will provide a comprehensive quote for you.

Who has the cheapest electricity for business?

There is no way of telling who can offer the cheapest gas for your business without first telling us a little about your circumstance – get in touch now and we will provide a comprehensive quote for you.

How to find the cheapest gas for business?

It is difficult to complete this research yourself. The simplest way is to contact an energy procurement specialist like www.energybrokers.co.uk

How to find the cheapest electricity for business?

It is difficult to complete this research yourself. The simplest way is to contact an energy procurement specialist like www.energybrokers.co.uk

How to get cheap energy?

If you are prepared to complete extensive market research, then simply contact as many suppliers as possible to receive quotes. Or, contact an energy procurement specialist to do this for you.

How to get cheap electricity?

If you are prepared to complete extensive market research, then simply contact as many suppliers as possible to receive quotes. Or, contact an energy procurement specialist to do this for you.

How to get cheap gas?

If you are prepared to complete extensive market research, then simply contact as many suppliers as possible to receive quotes. Or, contact an energy procurement specialist to do this for you.

What Should I Compare, Other Than Price?

Let’s be honest for a second. When you’re looking for a brand new mobile phone, TV, gadget or gizmo – the most important (and sometimes the only) metric has to be price. When comparing slightly homogenous goods, price is sometimes the only objective data we have to make our purchasing decision.

It’s all well and good saying the TV you are selling has a 49” LCD IPS panel with QHD diamond bezeling for a mere £500, but for consumers without industry know-how – the only thing that will really stick in their head is the last few words. The price-tag.

And it is no different when looking for a new energy supplier. In fact, in our experience – we would say that the price of energy contracts influences consumer purchasing behaviour more than any other factor.

But why is this?

The price is right – but is it the king?

A crucial point that has to be made about the energy industry is that your average Joe Bloggs does not know an awful lot about it. When looking for energy contracts there is often a lot of information lumped into contract offerings that Mr Bloggs simply does not know an awful lot about, meaning he has to rely on the one metric he knows. Price.

This is no bad thing – we all want to save as much money as possible. But does picking the cheapest deal automatically mean Joe Bloggs has got the best deal available for himself?

Not necessarily.

With energy suppliers – there are things that could and really should be taken into consideration a bit more often.

You’ve just saved yourself £200 per annum by switching supplier? That’s brilliant! But have you taken a look at customer testimonials? If your new supplier is well known to leave customers (both literally and figuratively) in the dark when power-outages inevitably happen, suddenly that £200 saving doesn’t look quite as impressive.

Don’t panic just yet! Price is absolutely still king, we at Energy Solutions just think a little more time should be spent meeting the other members of the royal family…

Customer Service

This is a biggie. For this reason, it may crop up a little in the other sections of this article.

Let’s face it – it’s not very often you call up your energy supplier for fun. It is usually because something has gone wrong, or is about to go wrong. Very often customers contacting their energy supplier are stressed and are looking for someone to offer solutions quickly, instead of compounding negative emotions through poor customer service.

But how do you quantify something which is inherently subjective? Luckily, you don’t have to.

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Graph showing customer satisfaction scores for the Big6 Electricity Suppliers – Ofgem.co.uk

If only 28% of your customers would recommend your service to others, it is a pretty damning statistic… Certainly one that should be factored in to any decisions on signing with a new energy supplier.

Reviews

This will be a short point that we shan’t linger too long on. The majority of this article will focus on how we can transform subjective data into easily comparable objective-ish data to fuel our consumer decisions.

But it works both ways – sometimes the human experience can be lost in endless charts, graphs, and statistics. Before taking that leap of faith and signing a new contract, take a quick look at some customer reviews of the business. Ideally on an impartial website like

Trustpilot.com

If customers are going out of their way to write a review online for others to see it means that the service has either been really really good, or really really bad.

If your new potential supplier has a hidden Jekyll or Hyde side, it may be nice to know about it before signing a long-term contract…

Further to this point, Ofgem curate a great resource that graphs the number of complaints received by energy suppliers over a defined period of time. We have included a link to this resource below.

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Complaints received by energy suppliers – Ofgem.gov.uk

Additional Services

Energy suppliers have been forced to diversify their services in response to growing competition. As less and less of an edge is to be found in pricing, they have turned their attentions to other areas they can get one up on their competitors.

One such way that many suppliers will do this is by offering additional services on top of the supply of energy. For business customers, keep your eyes out for things that could potentially save you time or money in particular as it is likely you have the AQ to see some incredible results.

Green Goals

The UK government have regularly expressed their desire to reach carbon neutrality and have made huge commitments towards reaching this goal. This has been reflected by UK businesses making similar commitments to reaching net-zero carbon emissions, either in some areas of operation or entirely.

Energy contributes to a huge amount of these emissions, especially if the business is of large scale or requires high energy demands for areas of production.

One of the easiest ways to reach these goals (and more importantly, prove it) is to partner with an energy supplier who offers renewably sourced and certified energy.

Not all suppliers do this, or do it with varying degrees of success. Either way it should be something to take into consideration.

Social Policies

How important is positive social action to you?

It is becoming more and more common for businesses to invest a portion of their revenue back into various community programmes – either locally or nationally. These programmes can vary from tree-planting initiatives, community centre funding, to educational grants.

In the energy industry, the most common way that customers will see this implemented is through various carbon-offsetting initiatives (like tree-planting). It is incredibly positive to see energy suppliers acknowledge a problem they directly contribute to, and work towards solving it.

For domestic customers with low levels of consumption, it may not be something they feel too guilty about, and may not have any strong opinions on. For businesses with huge annual consumption or a ‘sustainable’ based product, the value of being associated with an energy supplier that contributes to positive social action could be of incredible value.

How to ensure a comprehensive approach

We have already included a few great online resources to help guide your decision a little better, but there is one in particular that we feel offers the most useful interface (as well as being updated regularly).

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Table showing comparison of energy suppliers – Citizensadvice

This online resource compiled by citizensadvice.org is updated quarterly – rating 35 energy suppliers across five different key metrics and providing an overall rating. Whereas Ofgem only shows the Big6 electricity and gas suppliers in the UK, this resource shows 35 with a further option to find any suppliers not already included in the list.

Although this should not be the only comparison resource used, it should absolutely be included in your search method.

About Our Services

Energy Solutions have spent enough time in the energy procurement business to understand the wide spectrum of customer needs, and how to fulfil them.

We pride ourselves on our knowledge of the UK energy industry, all of our energy experts are just a phone-call away.

You can find all of our contact information here: energybrokers.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you!

Google Snippets

Why should I switch energy suppliers during my renewal period?

Many energy suppliers will charge early termination fees for cancelling your contract out-with of your renewal period. In order to avoid these fees and any undue stress, switching should be left until your renewal period. For all rules and regulations on this, check out Ofgem’s website.

Will I get a cheaper energy contract with my current supplier or a new supplier?

It is difficult to say with any certainty. If you have been with your supplier for a long time with no suggestion of leaving, it is unlikely you are receiving the best price available on your contract. It is always worth checking what offers are out there during your renewal period, if you find a better price then your current supplier may even offer to beat it, just to retain your custom.

What is important when choosing an energy contract?

Price is the most common metric that is thought of when choosing an energy contract. There are other things that should be taken into consideration, however. Such as; customer service, customer reviews, additional services, social policies, and if their operational nature ties in with your green/sustainability goals.

What else to think about when choosing an energy contract, apart from price?

Other things to evaluate before choosing an energy contract is the supplier’s customer service, customer reviews, additional services, social policies, and if their operational nature ties in with your green/sustainability goals. Different customers have different needs, take some time to figure out what is most important to you.