Cheapest Energy Comparison Websites For 2021
There’s so much choice in the energy comparison space, and the choice isn’t too different between the brands that exist. Ofgem, the official regulator in the space, list about 11 energy comparison services that fit the “official Ofgem-accredited price comparison sites” bill of approved sites. There are actually quite a few more comparison services that exist out in the market and they are worth taking a look at to maximise savings.
However, we looked at some of the top brands that we thought would give us the best energy deals and that have excellent customer service ratings on review websites like Trust Pilot. We ended up with the following list for comparison purposes, where we conducted our own research and ran the same quotes between each of these sites in different locations around the country.
We based our findings on gas and electricity costs (dual fuel energy) and used certain variables there to identify the largest savings dependent on usage. Representative Example:
- Electricity usage: 4496 kWh
- Gas: 21344 kWh
- Dual Fuel
Comparing The Energy Comparison Websites
|Comparison Website||Cheapest Price||Savings||Green Energy||Exit Fees||Fixed Rate||Cashback|
|Money Saving Expert||£1,185.00||£255.00||Yes||£0.00||12 months||£0.00|
|Go Compare||£1,236.00||£204.00||Yes||£72||12 months||£0.00|
|Energy Helpline||£1,297.00||£143.00||Yes||£80.00||12 months||£0.00|
|Forbes Advisor||£1,297.00||£143.00||Yes||£80.00||12 months||£0.00|
|Money Saving Expert||£1,375.00||£65.00||Yes||£10.00||12 months||£25.00|
|Money Saving Expert||£1,268.00||£172.00||No||£0.00||Variable||£0.00|
|The Energy Shop||£1,272.81||£167.19||No||£0.00||Variable||£0.00|
|Compare The Market||£1,317.00||£123.00||Yes||£0.00||Variable||£0.00|
#1 Money Saving Expert (£255 Savings)
At the top of the list, we found Money Saving Expert to show the largest savings roaring in with annual savings of £255. They were also the website which had the largest amount of choice, showing around 86 different tariff options versus an average of 59 when comparing all the other comparison sites in the research.
This is because Money Saving Expert also lists websites which do not pay out commissions to themselves — so they’ll have a larger pool or ‘whole of market’ offering.
That said, looking at and comparing multiple comparison websites is the choice every energy switcher should take as that is really the only way to find the best deal to suit your own personal profile. Last September, MSE also launched ‘MSE Autoswitch’ which is an auto compare and switch service which takes some of the switching processes and automates the energy switching journey, saving you time.
#2 Go Compare (£204 Savings)
Go Compare tops our list as the 2nd option of providing us with the cheapest fixed rate tariff, providing us with about £204 in savings. Compared with MSE, they only listed 49 tariffs for us on average, well under the overall 59 average across the group, but this is where we get into the argument regarding ‘quality over quantity’. Typically in the energy comparison space, the cheapest option is the greatest factor in providing the qualitative factor, hence why we we have weighted pricing over all else. We felt the partners they had too provide very good customer service, hence why the total number of options shown weren’t too much of a factor.
#3 Energy Helpline, Forbes Advisor, MoneySuperMarket (£143 Savings)
Joint 3rd, we listed Energy Helpline, Forbes Advisor and MoneySuperMarket. They provided pretty much the same partners across the board with the same set of savings when viewing the cheapest tariffs. Across this group of 3, they provided 56 – 60 tariffs to choose from – and they listed the cheapest Fixed Rate Tariff on their panel seeing a saving of £143 annually.
Fixed Rate Or A Variable Tariff?
We also took into account whether the tariff was fixed rate or on a standard variable tariff (SVT), a huge distinction given that ‘Standard Variable Tariffs’ can fluctuate when the wholesale price of energy changes and can either decrease or increase your energy bills dependent on external factors.
We go into detail about the differences between these types of tariffs in our article called ‘Energy Tariffs Explained‘. A report by Ofgem in 2019 says about 46% of consumers are on a fixed rate tariff . You’ll need to make a choice on what type of tariff you pick, but either can end up being cheaper, but at least with a fixed rate tariff you’ll know what rates you’ll be getting for the next 12 months.
We’d usually provide recommendations on choosing a fixed rate tariff as wholesale prices can move and impact your energy bills negatively. Stability is key. Hence, for peace of mind, it’s always good to go with the more than stable choice of a fixed rate tariff.
Does It Cost In To Go Green?
Yes, it does. We found around 80% of tariffs were cheaper with energy companies that sourced renewable energy. Data by our partner Switchd, an auto switching energy service, with their own data showed energy deals were cheaper on a green energy tariff too. As more and more energy companies source renewable energy, the cost reduces further – a type of economies of scale situation along with one time infrastructure setups being paid off. Over the years, renewable energy has taken over as a source of energy, therefore reducing wholesale prices.
Related: Best Green Energy Suppliers Of 2021
The International Renewable Energy Agency says half of new solar and wind installations undercut fossil fuels in 2019.International Renewable Energy Agency
We factored in Exit Fees, which are typically prevalent on 12 month long tariffs. They can generally range from anywhere between £5 per fuel to over £100.
They penalise your future ability to switch, if for example wholesale energy prices dip. Most people stick with their provider for the full 12 month period – after which you’ll be able to switch without exit fees, but obviously if you found a super cheap deal, and it has no exit fees then that puts you in an advantageous position for any future switching you’d like to do. It’s also still worth looking around to switch energy tariffs, even if you your existing tariff has exit fees associated to it as some energy companies will credit you for the full exit fee amount if you switch to them.
Comparing Energy Companies & Tariffs
It really doesn’t take long to switch energy companies and to do these comparisons.
It took us less than 5 minutes to sign up for an energy comparison quote, and we estimate a few minutes more to obtain the details from your current energy supplier’s web portal (usage data) to figure out your current situation to compare with what’s available in the market.
Based on our partnership, we’d recommend running a quote through to Energy Helpline, but as an independent editorial website, we recommend being thorough and checking multiple comparison sites to see where you can identify and maximise your yearly savings.