There are several different types of energy tariffs and it pays to be aware of what each one offers. Of the choices available to consumers, dual fuel deals could save you the most money and be the best way to receive your gas and electricity.
Below, we answer some of the key questions to help you determine whether a dual fuel deal is the most suitable and cost-effective option for you.
What is dual fuel?
It simply means you receive your gas and electricity from the same supplier on what is known as a dual fuel tariff, which can be set at a fixed or variable rate. Energy providers often try to attract new customers by offering dual fuel discounts, so switching to one provider for both may be the cheapest way to pay for your energy, especially if you lock in an affordable fixed rate.
It always pays to shop around for the best deal. For example, switching energy suppliers may not be the best option if you have to pay an exit fee on your current deal. This is where the Energy Helpline comparison tool can be useful in helping you to make the right decision.
How do I know if I have dual fuel?
The best and easiest way to find out if you’re currently on a dual fuel tariff is to check one of your most recent energy bills. Alternatively, you could also get in contact with your energy provider.
As well as using one or more providers, people pay for their energy in different ways. Prepayment customers use a meter, many customers choose a deal or tariff for which the rate can be either fixed or variable, and some pay the provider’s default rate, which is almost always the most expensive.
What is the average dual fuel bill?
Fuel bills vary according to property size, energy consumption and region. In Britain, the markets for gas and electricity are regulated by Ofgem, which sets energy price caps every six months for default, prepayment and standard variable tariffs. But while the price caps protect against overpricing, they do not guarantee you are paying the lowest price for your energy. Ofgem research shows the average standard variable tariff from the big six energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, npower, Scottish Power and SSE – was £1,125 a year in July 2020, but the cheapest tariff was only £812 a year, a saving of more than £300. From 1 October 2020, the default tariff cap rate will be set at £1,042.
Which is the cheapest dual fuel supplier?
Again, identifying the cheapest dual fuel supplier depends on your household’s level of energy consumption, your property size and where you live. It’s for these reasons that using our partner Energy Helpine’s comparison tool is so useful. You’re able to easily take a look at the most suitable tariffs available in your area to see which is the cheapest electricity provider.
Why switch to a dual fuel deal?
Apart from the potential savings, which could run into hundreds of pounds a year, it may be easier to manage your bills if they come from just one supplier via a dual fuel deal. Some companies combine their gas and electricity bills for dual fuel customers, meaning you have less paperwork to deal with.
Are dual fuel deals always cheaper?
If you haven’t switched energy deals or suppliers for a while, the chances are you are on a costly standard variable tariff. In comparison, dual fuel deals are likely to be significantly cheaper.
A dual fuel tariff won’t always be the most cost-effective option. In some cases, it will be cheaper to buy your gas from one supplier and your electricity from another, so it is important to compare the best dual fuel deals on the market. The Energy Helpline comparison tool can help you to do this.
Are all dual fuel deals the same?
Smaller energy providers are offering some of the best deals across all fuel types, and millions of UK households are now switching away from the big six providers. Between January and June this year, 1.1 million customers (547,000 gas and 553,000 electricity) moved to a small- or medium-sized supplier, according to Ofgem. In total, five million customers switched to a new energy deal.
Why are my projected dual fuel energy costs higher than the price cap?
Ofgem’s price cap only places a limit on the amount that suppliers can charge per single unit of energy. So if your energy consumption remains high you won’t see cheaper bills.
That’s why it may pay for you to switch to a fixed-price deal. You can lock in an affordable rate and won’t have to worry about potentially overpaying for your energy.
How does the dual fuel cap affect prepayment accounts?
A separate price cap is applied to prepayment customers by Ofgem, which from 1 October 2020 will drop by £94 to £1,070. It works in an identical way to the default cap by protecting you against any sudden price rises but again does not mean you will automatically pay less for your energy.
Do I need a different meter for a dual fuel tariff?
If you currently receive your electricity through an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff and would like to switch to a dual fuel deal you will need to get some new meters installed. The types of meters that are compatible with dual fuel tariffs include standard, prepayment and smart.
Dual fuel customers will still have one meter for electricity and one meter for gas.
How do I read a dual fuel smart meter?
The biggest advantage of a smart meter is that it automatically submits your gas and electricity readings to your supplier so there is no need for you to do it manually.
Your bills will be a lot more accurate and you will be able to get a better idea of when your energy consumption is highest, thanks to the in-home digital display and its real-time usage tracker.
Don’t miss the Winter Energy Switch
The Telegraph Energy Club will open for registration on 7 October 2020. You have until 20 October 2020 to register for us to bring you the cheapest deal by auction from the UK’s leading energy suppliers. We will contact you soon after with the winning tariff and invite you to switch energy suppliers with no obligation.
- Spending more time at home can result in energy bills rising - Switch now and you could save up to £641*
*10% of customers switching their gas and electricity bills with the Telegraph Switching Service and Energy Club between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 saved £641 or more.
The above article was created for Telegraph Financial Solutions, a member of The Telegraph Media Group. For more information on Telegraph Financial Solutions click here.
*Information correct at date of publication