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British Gas has announced 7% price hikes following SSE's 9% hike. Others are likely to follow. Unless you're on a super cheap online tariff SWITCH NOW!

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Tariff Guide

-Each gas and electricity supplier offers a range of tariffs aimed at different users. This guide to Energy Tariffs helps explain the different types of tariffs that are offered and who they are typically aimed at.

There are an increasing number of suppliers of Gas and Electricity in the UK today. The established ‘Big Six’ are household names – British Gas, E.ON, Scottish Power, EDF, npower; and Scottish & Southern. These are joined by a set of smaller player such as First Utility (the first to promote Smart Meter technology) as well as the likes of OVO and Spark Energy.

Each supplier offers a range of tariffs aimed at different users, each offering something slightly different. These can be broken down broadly into the following categories:

  • Online Tariffs – The customer is either expected to manage their account online or sign up via a comparison service (either online or over the phone).
  • Fixed or capped rate tariffs – The unit rates of the tariff are either fixed or capped for a specified period of time.
  • Standard tariffs – These are suppliers’ standard offerings, and will more than likely carry a pricing premium. If you have never switched or have not done so at your new property you are likely to be on one of these.

Depending on the type of meter that you have at your property, some or all of these variants may also be offered as either an Economy 7 or prepayment tariffs:

  • Economy 7 tariffs – Customers will be charged a different rate for night time versus day time usage.
  • Prepayment tariffs – Customers will have to credit their account in advance of using their energy.

In addition, First:Utility recently become the first licensed supplier to actively promote Smart Meter tariffs to it’s customers.

Each of these tariff variants is generally, but not always offered as a dual fuel (gas and electricity) or single fuel (gas or electricity) variant, with the further option usually to pay quarterly on receipt of your bill, or monthly by fixed or variable Direct Debit payment. Each payment type will have a price associated with it, different features, reward schemes and even exit penalties.

Ultimately the choice of tariff, the way you pay your bills, where you live and how much energy you use will all have an impact on exactly how much you will pay for your energy with each provider. At The Switching Helpline, we use all of this information to derive a quote for our customers, and what is more our trained energy experts will guide you through the process, and answer absolutely any questions you may have so that you are left in no doubt as to the decision you have made.

Why not give The Switching Helpline a call on 0844 391 6302 to see how much we can save you. If it’s not convenient now we can call you back at a time that suits you, simply fill in our call back form. If you are comfortable to give it a go yourself you can use our Consumer Focus accredited calculator too. See our unique guide for more information on how the switching process works.

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The Big Switch 2011 Campaign News

The Big Switch 2011 Campaign for Cheaper, Fairer and Greener Energy

The Big Switch Campaign is educating, empowering and enriching consumers. Read the latest news here:

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What Makes Us Special?

-The Switching Helpline provides expert energy switching advice for free to UK consumers. Our service is built upon:

  • 100% independent gas and electricity comparison
  • Completely free no obligation service
  • Trained experts to answer all of your questions

We also run campaigns such as The Big Switch 2011 to actively engage consumers and promote our helpline.

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