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How to compare energy tariffs & prices

There are a few useful tools to compare energy tariffs – to find out more, take a look at the boxes below.

The Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR)

This Tariff Comparison Rate is a quick way of comparing energy tariffs from different gas and electricity suppliers – but it isn’t personalised to you.

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You’ll find Tariff Comparison Rates in energy suppliers’ communications, on their websites and on energy price comparison sites. Suppliers use them as a way to advertise their gas and electricity tariffs (and how competitive they are) – in much the same way mortgage and credit card providers do with APRs.

The main thing to bear in mind about Tariff Comparison Rates is that they are a quick way to compare each supplier’s energy tariff and prices. There will be a TCR for each type of energy tariff – shown in pence per kWh (p/kWh), based on medium usage.

TCRs can provide a useful starting point when comparing energy prices, but it’s still important to find out what’s right for you based on more personalised information. For that, you’ll want to have to hand your personal projection or personal consumption.

The Tariff Information Label

The Tariff Information Label is a standard way of presenting key facts you need to know about a specific energy tariff.

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A Tariff Information Label contains key facts about an energy tariff. Every tariff will have a label, and you'll find them on energy suppliers’ websites.

It’s important to bear in mind that this information won’t be personalised to you, but it can still be very helpful when comparing what’s on offer.

Key

1. Current tariff information

Supplier

The name of the energy supplier the Tariff Information Label applies to.

Tariff name

For example, Online Standard.

Tariff type

For example, variable tariff with no end date.

2. Payments and charges

Payments method

This shows the ways you can pay for the named tariff (e.g. via Direct Debit).

Unit rate

This is the rate you will pay for every unit of electricity or gas you use. It will be displayed in pence per kWh).

Standing charge

A standing charge is a fixed cost associated with providing you energy – it includes things such as meter reading, maintenance and the cost of keeping you connected to the network. It will be displayed in pence per day (p/day).

3. Tariff terms

Price guaranteed until

The cost of the specific tariff is guaranteed to remain the same until this date or beyond.

Exit fees

This is how much it will cost you to cancel the tariff early. 

4. Discounts and extra services

Discounts and additional charges

Sets out any discounts associated with the named tariff (e.g. for managing your account online), along with any additional charges.

Additional products or services included

This highlights any extra products or services, such as supermarket loyalty points.

5. Consumption and charges

Assumed annual consumption

This is the annual consumption of a medium user.

Estimated annual cost

This is a figure that represents the annual cost a medium user will pay on the tariff. It will be shown in pounds per year (£/year).

6. Tariff Comparison Rate

Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR):

This is a quick way to help you compare your tariff with others. Find out more about TCRs here

Your Tariff Information

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Personal projection

Just like it says, this is personal to you and estimates your annual energy cost for the next 12 months.

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The personal projection is all about you, and it’s useful when shopping around. That’s because it estimates how much you’re likely to pay for energy over the next 12 months.

Your personal projection will be shown as an annual cost in pounds (£), and will be displayed on your energy bill in the ‘Could you pay less?’ box. It will also appear on your annual summary and on any price increase notices. Plus, you can request a personal projection from your supplier at any time.

Before you sign up to a new tariff, the supplier must give you a personal projection – and they will have to tell you what’s included in the calculation. This will allow you to accurately compare tariffs.

Start comparing tariffs

Price comparison sites are a great way to accurately compare current prices, along with any comparable tariffs.

View comparison sites
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