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If you're worried about your energy tariff

This advice applies to Wales

Your energy tariff sets the price you pay for gas and electricity.

Check if you’re on a default tariff

A default tariff is the rate you pay for gas and electricity if you don’t choose a tariff. For example, you’ll usually be put on a default tariff when:

  • your fixed rate tariff ends

  • you move home

  • you’re moved to a new supplier when your old supplier goes bust

You’re probably on a default tariff if you haven’t switched suppliers in the last year, or you’ve never checked what tariff you’re on. You can contact your supplier to check if you’re on their default tariff.

At the moment it’s usually worth staying on your default tariff because there aren’t as many cheap deals available right now. 

The cost of energy is likely to go up. This means the price you pay for gas and electricity will also go up - but the price cap will limit how much you have to pay.

Check how the energy price cap affects you

The price cap limits what you have to pay for energy if you're on a default tariff or most other tariffs where the rate you pay changes. This includes the cost of each unit of energy and the ‘standing charge’ - the standing charge is the fixed daily amount you pay for energy, no matter how much you use. You’ll still pay more if you use more energy.

The price cap is set by Ofgem twice a year - it’s likely to go up in April 2022. Find out more about the price cap from Ofgem.

You won’t be affected by the cap if:

  • you’re on a fixed tariff

  • you’re on a standard variable green tariff that Ofgem has not included in the cap

If you want to switch tariffs

Because many energy companies are struggling, you won't find as many tariffs as normal on price comparison tools. If you don’t find a better tariff than the one you’re on it’s probably better to wait until deals are available again.

If your energy supplier goes bust

Don’t switch tariff or supplier until your account is moved to the new supplier. You might find it harder to get any money you’re owed if you switch before you’re moved.

Check what to do if your energy supplier goes bust.

The two most common tariffs are ‘fixed’ tariffs or ‘standard variable’ tariffs. 

If you get a fixed tariff it will usually last for 12 months and means the rate you pay for energy won’t change for the length of your contract. This doesn’t mean your bills will be the same each month - the more energy you use, the more you’ll pay. You might have to pay an 'exit fee' if you switch supplier or tariff early.

If you get a standard variable tariff it means the rate you pay for energy will go up or down when global energy prices change.

If you use most of your energy at night

You can get a ‘multi rate’ or ‘economy’ tariff. This means you’ll pay less for energy you use overnight, and more during the day.

If you have a prepayment meter

You’ll usually only be able to get a ‘prepayment tariff’. This means you pay for your energy before you use it.

If you want eco-friendly energy

You can choose a ‘green tariff’ if you want the money you're spending to be invested in renewable energy. These are usually more expensive than standard tariffs.

If you have an electric vehicle

You can choose an electric vehicle tariff. These can be single rate or multi rate which means you’ll pay less at night.

You can compare prices and switch online.

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