Help & Frequently Asked Questions

GB ENERGY GOES BUST

GB Energy has gone bust. What happens now?

On Saturday 26 November, small supplier GB Energy ceased trading. Co-op Energy has now been appointed by regulator Ofgem as the new supplier for GB Energy’s 160,000 customers.

All customers should be transferred on Wednesday 30 November - your energy supply won’t be interrupted during the transition.

You’ll continue to pay the same price you did with GB Energy, whether you were on a fixed or standard tariff – If you were on a fix, you'll be able to keep it.

All outstanding credit balances will also be honoured, for both current and past GB Energy customers.

For full info, see our GB Energy goes bust MSE News story.

HOW TO REGISTER AND COMPARE DEALS

How to register.

1. Go to the Cheap Energy Club register page.

2. Enter your postcode and select your address.

3. Enter your current gas & electricity supplier, tariff name, usage, etc.

4. Enter your name, surname and email address and make up a password.

5. Tick the T&Cs box.

6. Click ‘Let us do our stuff’.

After registering, you'll receive a welcome email so you'll know your registration was successful. (Check your spam/junk folder.)

Once you're registered, you can log back in to your account at any time - just use the login button in the top right hand corner.

I don't know who my current supplier is.

If you have a recent bill or letter, your current supplier's name will be at the top. If you don't have a letter or bill, you can contact the meter number helpline on 0870 608 1524 to find your gas supplier.

To find your electricity supplier, you'll need to contact the electricity distribution company for your region:

Scotland North - 0800 048 3515 
Scotland South - 0330 1010 300 
North East England - 0800 011 3332 
North West England - 0800 195 4141 
Eastern England - 0845 601 4516 
Southern England - 0800 048 3516 
South West England - 0800 096 3080 
South East England - 0845 601 4516 
London - 0845 601 4516 
Yorkshire - 0800 011 3332 
Merseyside & North Wales - 0330 101 0300 
South Wales - 0800 096 3080 
West Midlands - 0800 096 3080 
East Midlands - 0800 096 3080

I can't find my tariff, help!

The energy market is awash with similar-sounding tariff names, so it's no surprise it's so hard to work out which deal you're on. First, have a look at your bill - it should be clearly marked. If you're having trouble finding it, try our Energy Bills Explained tool which explains where to look.

If you're still unsure, ring your supplier and ask - it should be able to tell you exactly which version of a deal you're on.

I don't know the split between my gas and electricity payments - can I guess?

If you know how much energy you've used in the last year (in £), but you're not sure how much was gas and how much was electricity, you can guess. Across the big six standard tariffs the split is 54% gas and 46% electricity, so that should help give you an idea. So, if you spent £1,000 on energy, your gas bill would be £540 (54%) and your electricity bill £460 (46%).

For the best accuracy, enter your usage over the past 12 months in kilowatt hours (kWh).

Can I switch if I rent?

Yes, if you pay the bills directly - according to Ofgem your landlord can't "unreasonably" prevent you from switching.

I pay by credit/debit card every month/quarter - what do I pick?

Pick the cash/cheque option in the dropdown list.

Or, do you have an Economy 7 meter?

This is a separate question on the registration form, to which you can answer yes or no. Economy 7 doesn’t appear in the dropdown list of tariff names, as Economy 7 is a meter type rather than a tariff. Once you have the exact name, please try to register again.

How does the comparison calculator work?

The calculator estimates your current energy usage based on your annual kilowatt hour (kWh) usage, your bill amount or the answers to the estimator questions provided.

It takes (or calculates) your current kWh usage by comparing the data you supply with the unit costs of your current tariff. Next, this is multiplied against the kWh unit costs of other tariffs provided by other suppliers in your area.

Any additional savings offered by the supplier based on payment or billing types are also taken into account. The estimated annual savings figure is calculated by subtracting the costs of other tariffs from your current costs.

Do you include all tariffs on the market?

Yes we do - we don't exclude any tariffs, nor do we do what some comparison sites do and have a default setting where you only see those that pay us. Though of course if you select our 'top picks' tab - as is explained there - you'll only see a limited number of tariffs based on those we think, for editorial merit, you should also consider but may miss if you're just looking at pure price.

It's important to note that there are also 'collective switches' available sometimes, and we can't include those (except our own). A collective switch is where a trusted intermediary such as a council or other organisation asks energy firms to bid to provide a tariff for it.

Often these can offer deals better than the market’s cheapest, but regulator Ofgem’s rules means you have to register for these schemes before the tariffs become available (you’re not obligated to take the tariffs once you’ve registered). We’ve run five Cheap Energy Club collective switch events so far, and managed to beat the market’s cheapest in all of them.

So it is possible, on occasion, for an 'exclusive' elsewhere to undercut the winner of our open market comparison - yet, if you are considering one, do make sure you compare it.

Does it cost more to switch via Cheap Energy Club?

Absolutely not. The tariffs you see in the results are the same as the tariffs and prices you'd pay if you went direct to the supplier. While we often get paid when users switch via us, this cash comes from suppliers' marketing budgets - there's no difference in the price you'd get via us and the price you'd get direct. In fact, we'll even pay you cashback when you switch via us.

Do you include discounts in the comparisons?

Recurring discounts and those paid automatically, such as direct debit discounts, are included in the calculations. One-off discounts, incentives paid after 12 months and discounts which rely on you doing something (including giving meter readings) aren't included in the comparison.

Why isn't Economy 10 listed?

You can't compare Economy 10 tariffs or other less common 'time of usage' tariffs such as THTC or 20:20 through comparison sites. But our handy step-by-step guide shows you how to work out if you're overpaying on Economy 10 prices, and if it's worth considering switching.

What's the Warm Home Discount?

The scheme requires energy suppliers with more than 250,000 domestic (not business) customers, by law, to help vulnerable customers pay for electricity by providing a discount of £140.

Who's eligible? The core group it helps are those who get the guarantee credit element of pension credit.

There's also a broader group that energy suppliers consider for the rebate, but this varies from supplier to supplier. 

If you’re in the core group, you’ll get the rebate automatically, but if you meet a supplier’s broader eligibility criteria, you will need to apply directly to the supplier. 

How will I get the cash? The money isn't paid to you, it's a one-off discount on your electricity bill, usually between October and March.

The suppliers participating in the scheme: Atlantic, Bristol Energy, British Gas, Co-operative Energy, EDF Energy, E.on, Equipower (Ebico), Equigas (Ebico), Extra Energy, First Utility, GB Energy, Manweb (Scottish Power), M&S Energy, Npower, Our Power, Ovo Energy, Sainsbury's Energy, Scottish Gas (British Gas), Scottish Hydro, Scottish Power, Southern Electric, SSE, SWALEC, Utilita, Utility Warehouse.

I get the Warm Home Discount, is that factored in?

The Warm Home Discount requires the big suppliers, by law, to help vulnerable customers in England, Wales and Scotland, pay for energy.

We don't factor in the £140 discount into the costs or savings shown on the site, but our results do show which suppliers offer the Warm Home Discount.

When I ran the comparison, it said I'd save but I pay more, why?

While it sounds strange, you may save money, even if your bills go up! In a period of regular price rises, switching often doesn't mean you actually pay less. If you're saving 10% when all energy prices are increased by 20%, you'll still pay more than you were, but you'll be paying less than if you hadn't switched.

The other complication is the way energy firms set direct debit levels - often direct debit amounts aren't linked to the amount of energy you use. When you move to a new supplier, it has little usage history for you. So sometimes it sets the direct debit amount over and above what you're using, to make sure it’s covering itself.

Don't use the direct debit amount as an indicator of what you're saving - it could be higher than before, or your old firm may have set your direct debit too low (if you had to pay a lump sum when you switched away, then that'll be the case).

Do you compare business energy?

Cheap Energy Club is only for consumers. If you're on a business tariff, read our Small Biz guide for help on finding a cheaper deal.

CASHBACK

Why do you pay cashback?

Basically, it's a sweetener for switching tariff! If you can switch through Cheap Energy Club, and you can with many tariffs - though not all - then MoneySavingExpert.com gets a referral fee.

To encourage switching, we give £30 of this fee to you for dual fuel switches (£15 for single fuel). You don't usually get this if you go direct to a comparison site, nor if you switch directly with an energy company.

We don't put the tariffs that pay us at the top. Our comparison remains based solely on your results.

When will I get my cashback?

If you went through a comparison or provider which promises cashback when you switch - including our Cheap Energy Club - it usually takes between three to five months to hit your bank account, depending on how quick the supplier is at processing your application.

The cashback will appear as "EnergyClubCashbk" on your bank statement. If you opted not to pay for your energy by direct debit, the cashback will be paid by cheque.

I haven't received my cashback - what should I do?

If you move to a supplier that we can switch you to, £15 cashback is paid for a single fuel switch, £30 if you switch both fuels. Cashback is paid in to your bank account around three months after switching, but it can sometimes take longer if your supplier is slow to confirm this to us. It will appear as "EnergyClubCashbk".

If it's been over six months since your switch, let us know by emailing energyclub@moneysavingexpert.com and we'll follow this up for you.

Sometimes there are special deals where you can get even more cashback. Usually with these deals, the supplier sends you the extra cashback and you'll still get the £30 from us.

What cashback options are there?

Our comparison calculator will bring up some results for tariffs which don’t offer cashback. If you choose one of these, we can’t monitor the process. But when the switch has happened, log back into your CEC account, update your details and we’ll keep watching prices for you.

Then there are our £30 cashback tariffs. We're able to offer these because suppliers pay £60/dual fuel switch (£30 single fuel) to comparisons and collective schemes, and we give £30 to you as cashback (£15 single fuel). The rest helps cover our costs and hopefully leaves some profit.

The cashback will appear as "EnergyClubCashbk" on your bank statement. If you opted not to pay for your energy by direct debit, the cashback will be paid by cheque.

ALL ABOUT SWITCHING

How does energy switching work?

Don't worry too much about switching. Only customer service, billing and, most importantly, prices change. The pipes, circuits, wires and actual gas and electricity flowing through your home are all the same.

The new supplier performs the switch, and all you do is take a meter reading. Of course, there've been many switching horror stories and sadly, these still happen. But for most, it's a smooth process.

We'll email you every step of the way so you know what's happening. You'll get an email when you've applied for a switch, and an email when that switch has been accepted by the supplier (in a small number of cases, the supplier can reject you).

How long does it take to switch energy supplier?

Energy suppliers have a cooling-off period of 14 days, which starts from the date you submit your switch, so no action is taken until this period is over. The switch process can take up to four to six weeks to complete, depending on supplier, although some will now switch you more quickly.

But don't worry, you won't lose your supply during this time. It should be a seamless handover from one provider to the other. All that's really changing is the billing, not the actual gas and electricity that you're supplied.

Energy suppliers are supposed to keep you updated on your switch (via letter/telephone/email - please keep an eye on your junk/spam folder). If you ever have any queries about your switch, you can always contact your energy supplier for an update.

Will I be credit checked if I switch energy supplier?

Some firms do a credit check when you apply to switch – as if you pay by direct debit, bills are estimated – and if they under assess you, you could owe them cash, so they want to know you’re good for it. There are two types of credit check done…

Soft Search: This is the best type, as you can see it on your file, but lenders can’t, so it DOESN’T have any impact on your ability to get future credit products (like mortgages).

Hard Search: This does leave a mark on credit files lenders can see and can have a minor negative impact on future credit applications. This isn’t a big deal usually, but if you’re planning to apply for a mortgage within the next couple of months you may want to miss it.

If you don't pass the credit check, suppliers may ask you to pay a security deposit, eg, £200 per fuel, or suggest a prepayment meter in order to take on your supply. Though you can stop the switch if this happens.

Energy supplier credit checks

Supplier

Credit check

Soft / Hard

British Gas

Yes

Hard

EDF

No

-

E.on

Yes

Hard

Npower

Yes

Hard

Scottish Power

Yes

Hard

SSE

Yes

Soft

First Utility

Yes

Hard

Flow Energy

No

-

GB Energy

No

-

OVO Energy

No

-

Utilita

No

-

Last updated: Jan 2016


If you're worried about your credit score, our Credit Scores guide has 25 tips on how to boost it.

Can I time a switch to take place after my contract ends?

Sadly, you can't do this at the moment. Tariffs change very quickly, so what's the best deal for you now might not be the best deal later on. Of course, when your tariff changes, it will hopefully trigger a savings email.

How often can I switch energy supplier?

You can switch as many times as you like, though bear in mind the time it takes for the switch to complete can vary by supplier.

My fix is ending, if I switch now will I be charged an early exit fee?

Energy suppliers are banned from charging exit fees when you have less than 49 days to go till the end of your tariff. These are rules set down by the energy regulator, Ofgem, so suppliers do have to stick to them. So stay within these timeframes and you shouldn't be charged.

My tariff end date on Cheap Energy Club doesn’t match the end date given to me by my energy provider.

Some providers such as Eon and Ovo have fixed tariffs that are set for a length of time rather than until a defined date. This is based on the date your switch completes. As providers don’t share with us the exact dates of your individual tariff, we estimate this based on your application date. But if this date doesn’t look right, you can update it by editing the details in your account.

I've changed my mind, how do I cancel my switch?

If you change your mind after requesting the switch, you'll have a cooling-off period of 14 days in which to stop it going through.

You'll need to contact the supplier you're switching to directly to do this (contact details are at the bottom of this page). It can take up to two days for your new supplier to add your details to its systems, so wait this long before contacting it.

I’ve cancelled my switch but it’s still showing as ‘in progress’ on my account.

If you’ve cancelled your switch and it’s still showing as ‘in progress’ on your Cheap Energy Club account, it’s likely the supplier hasn’t let us know about the cancellation. You can contact us directly by emailing energyclub@moneysavingexpert.com with your account details, and we’ll remove the switch. You’ll then be able to compare and switch again.

Do I need to contact my old supplier?

You shouldn't need to contact your existing supplier, your new supplier should do this for you.

Your new supplier will ask you for opening meter readings - make sure these are accurate, as they will be sent to your old supplier to calculate your final bill.

Should I cancel my direct debit?

Don't cancel your old direct debit straight after going through the switching application. You need to wait until after your last meter reading has been taken and you've been confirmed as 'on supply' with your new supplier.

How do I arrange a direct debit with my new supplier?

The new supplier should get your details when you switch and should set it up for you. If not, you'll get details in the post on how to do it.

I’ve switched to a different tariff with the same supplier - why hasn’t my direct debit been changed?

When you change tariff with the same supplier, the monthly costs shown on Cheap Energy Club are the amounts you’d be paying on the new tariff if your usage doesn’t change. However, most suppliers don't automatically update your direct debit when you change tariff with it. Whilst you're charged at the new rates of the new tariff, your direct debit won't normally be updated until your next direct debit review (normally every six months).

In the meantime, this may mean you’ll build up some credit in your account with your supplier. However if you don’t want to wait, many allow you to tweak this online or over the phone. 

For more information see our Cut Energy Direct Debits guide.

Can I switch from prepayment to credit?

We can't do this for you as it involves changing the meter, so only your current supplier can help. Read the full Cheap Prepay Energy guide on how to get your meter switched for free.

I'm on Economy 7 – can I get a standard tariff?

A few providers will allow you to move to a standard or dual fuel tariff without changing your meter – they’ll simply add the day and night readings together to get your total usage, and then charge you a single rate for it. These suppliers will let you do this:

E.on 
EDF 
First Utility  
Npower

To get the tariffs, answer ‘no’ to the ‘Do you have an Economy 7 meter’ question in the registration or click the ‘Edit Details' section in Cheap Energy Club, then apply for the switch as normal. Make sure the supplier you’re switching to can add the two Economy 7 readings together though – your application to switch is likely to be rejected if not. 

You can also check with your supplier if it’ll replace your Economy 7 meter with a standard, single-rate meter – many suppliers offer to do this for free.

Do smart meters affect switching?

At the moment, smart meters aren't always compatible with different providers, which means if you switch to another supplier, your smart meter could lose some of its ‘smart’ functionality. However, all this means is that you'd have to go back to manually providing meter readings to your new supplier. Other ‘smart’ functions, such as in-home display of energy use, should still work.

The Government is planning to make all smart meters compatible between different providers by 2020, but currently this isn’t possible.

I've called the supplier and it knows nothing about the switch.

This doesn't mean your switch isn't in progress. We're finding more and more that suppliers' call centres don't have up-to-date information about switches (or they say they don't).

So if you've called the new supplier and it doesn't know about the switch, don't worry about it. Wait a few days, and you should receive confirmation of the switch in the post. Don't switch over the phone directly with the supplier - if you do, you'll miss out on any cashback you were eligible for.

I'm supplied by an independent gas transporter (IGT), can I still switch?

Yes, you can still switch, though some smaller suppliers may not take you on.

Previously you had to pay £30-£70 more on top of any comparison quote, as the gas provider must pay both National Grid and the IGT to supply gas to your house. This charge was passed directly on to you. But, now the big six energy providers (as well as some smaller providers) don't charge extra.

Independent gas transporters (IGTs) are often used by constructors instead of National Grid in new-build properties as IGTs charge less to fit pipes. One in twenty people are supplied by IGTs instead of National Grid.

Can I switch if I've more than one electricity meter in my property?

Having more than one electricity meter in your property can cause complications with your switch. This is most common where a property's heating is wired to a different meter from the one for general electricity usage, or where a property has been converted.

If both meters are linked to a single MPAN (electricity supply number), known officially as 'related or complex metering', then you'd normally only be able to switch by talking directly to your chosen supplier. Unfortunately this'd mean you wouldn't be able to switch through Cheap Energy Club (including our collective switches).

However, if the meters have separate supply numbers, then you'd need to submit two separate switches via Cheap Energy Club using separate accounts. To help this go smoothly please select each address as 'not listed' when registering, which will allow you to manually enter your address and add any extra details, eg, garage or annexe, for clarity. You'll then be asked to confirm the MPAN on the switch application form.

I live in Northern Ireland, why can't I switch?

We can't currently do comparisons for Northern Ireland as the data isn't easily available. We're working hard to sort out a solution, but in the meantime have a look at the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland for tips on switching.

My existing supplier has offered me a cheaper deal. Should I stick with it?

As soon as your old energy supplier knows you want to switch away, it’ll launch an attack to retain your custom. It could offer you all sorts to encourage you to stay, but don't be seduced, as it's unlikely the deal it offers will beat what came top of the comparisons.

If you're unsure, check the comparison again and see how far down the list its tariff appears.

My application to switch is still outstanding, what do I do?

Usually your new supplier should contact you within a couple of weeks of you submitting the application. But if you haven't heard from it after that point, you'll need to contact it directly to get an update on your switch.

MoneySuperMarket (our switching partner) usually sends switch applications to energy suppliers within 24 to 48 hours. We're only told about rejected or accepted switches after they've happened.

When you contact your supplier, if you decide to switch directly to it, make sure you update Cheap Energy Club so we can revise the status of your old switch application. Remember, if you don’t switch through CEC, your cashback will no longer be issued.

I'm in debt with my supplier - can I still switch?

If you’re on a key/card meter, you must be allowed to switch, provided your debt is below £500. If you're on a standard credit meter and are in debt, you'll need to speak to your supplier. There are no hard and fast rules for credit meter customers, though your supplier should be reasonable. If you arrange a debt repayment plan, it may let you switch.

I have solar panels - can I still switch my energy supply?

You can switch your gas and electricity energy supplier and this shouldn't affect the payments that you get from your existing feed-in tariff provider - it is obliged to continue making payments to you. You can do your switch as normal via Cheap Energy Club, or via any other switching site.

If you'd like to change your feed-in tariff provider, you'll need to arrange this with your chosen supplier - you can't do this through Cheap Energy Club.

The 'big six' energy companies (British Gas, EDF, E.on, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE) must pay a feed-in tariff to you if you generate renewable energy at home through your solar panels. Some smaller companies don't offer feed-in tariffs but to find out which ones do, please see Ofgem's website.

See our Solar Panels guide for more info.

ABOUT CHEAP ENERGY CLUB

Do we make money from this?

Suppliers pay £60/dual fuel switch (£30 single fuel) to comparisons and collective schemes; we give £30 to you as cashback (£15 single fuel).

The rest helps cover our costs and hopefully leaves some profit.

As always, we only ever write based on our legally binding editorial independence.

Does it cost more to switch via Cheap Energy Club?

Absolutely not. The tariffs you see in the results are the same as the tariffs and prices you'd pay if you went direct to the supplier. While we often get paid when users switch via us, this cash comes from suppliers' marketing budgets - there's no difference in the price you'd get via us and the price you'd get direct. In fact, we'll even pay you cashback when you switch via us.

Do you send alerts by SMS?

We're no longer sending out alerts by SMS. We found most of you preferred to get our alerts by email, so we've decided to switch this functionality off. If you previously provided your mobile number, this has now been removed from your account and erased from our records.

ENERGY PROVIDERS & TARIFFS

What happens when my fixed tariff ends?

Fixed tariffs are deals where the price per unit of energy used is set for the term of your energy contract - they offer surety against rising energy prices. When a fixed tariff ends the supplier usually moves you onto its pricier standard tariff.

Of course, Cheap Energy Club is designed to help overcome this - we'll alert you when you're nearing the end of your tariff and it's time to switch again. And don't worry, rules from the regulator, Ofgem, mean you can't be charged exit penalties if you're within 49 days of the tariff end date.

I fixed a few days ago. Now that tariff isn’t available. Will I still get it?

If you signed up for the tariff, you should get it. Around 10% of people are rejected, either due to credit issues or if you entered incorrect info by mistake. If it was due to incorrect info, some suppliers will ring you and sort the issue out - other suppliers aren't so good at this.

If you're rejected, you'll have to switch again and if that fixed deal has gone, you'll have to get the new best tariff on the market.

Can anything go wrong with a switch?

Around 10% of people are rejected due to credit issues or problems with application info. From time to time, comparison sites have issues sending your switch information to suppliers. This is rare, but can happen. If it does happen, you'll usually have to switch again and if fixes have been pulled in the meantime, you'll have missed out on them.

When will I start paying the new prices for my fixed tariff?

It can take four to six weeks for your supply to go live, but some suppliers have now introduced faster switching, which should mean some switches will complete in about three weeks. If you're changing tariff with your current provider it'll normally complete this even faster.

I've not heard from my provider about my new fixed tariff, is something wrong?

It may take a couple of weeks to get your welcome pack from the provider. To make matters even worse, some of your have told us that when you ring your new supplier, it's told you it knows nothing about the switch.

This is totally incorrect and either a tactic to get you to switch directly (which means no cashback for you and is cheaper for the energy supplier) or the customer service team hasn't been told what's going on. Give it a few weeks then get in touch with the supplier you've switched to.

I’m moving home, what do I need to do?

Make sure you contact your electricity and gas supplier and let it know you’re moving – you should give it at least 48 hours’ notice. Then, on the day you move out, check your meter and inform your existing supplier of the readings and your new address so it can send you a final bill. Make sure you keep a note of the readings, and check they match your final bill.

When you move into your new home, take opening meter readings and inform the supplier of the new property as soon as you move in. If you’re unsure who your supplier is, check the ‘I don’t know who my current supplier is’ FAQ above.

Once you’ve moved in, be sure to do an energy comparison – you’ll usually be put on a ‘deemed contract’ with the existing supplier to the property, which is often an expensive standard tariff. If you’re not sure what your usage is, our Cheap Energy Club can estimate with a few details about the property.

I’m on a fix, can I transfer it to a new property?

Many fixes are now portable, meaning your supplier will let you take your current deal with you to your new property, so check with it before you move. If your fix isn’t portable, you usually won’t be charged an exit fee, although it is worth checking with your supplier, as it can vary.

Be aware: if you’re moving to a new area, your price might still go up as prices vary between regions.

I had a terrible experience with 'Energy Supplier XYZ', why do you include it?

We think it would be remiss of us not to tell you about the cheapest tariffs and few companies have flawless feedback histories. However, if a supplier has had a disproportionate amount of feedback, we'll let you know. And please use our feedback threads in the results table so others can read about your experiences - good or bad.

What is a green tariff?

There are lots of different ‘environmentally friendly tariffs’ available on the market with different shades of greenness available. Some commit to a proportion of your fuel coming from green sources, while others promise that 100% of your energy will be renewable. Ofgem's recently-introduced green criteria go beyond whether the energy comes from green sources, requiring tariffs to include additional benefits to the environment.

On your Cheap Energy Club results page, you'll find a '100% Renewable' tab to allow you to compare tariffs where the electricity is 100% generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro, rather than from burning coal and gas.

Is British Gas's HomeEnergy FreeTime tariff a good deal?

British Gas’s HomeEnergy FreeTime tariff offers free energy between 9am and 5pm on either Saturdays or Sundays. While free energy for most of a day each weekend sounds like a good deal, this tariff still costs significantly more than normal fixes available on the market. Even if you make the effort to use more energy during the free period, the normal fixes could still be £100s cheaper.

For more info on this tariff take a look at our British Gas HomeEnergy FreeTime news story

What is Economy 7? Can I save?

An Economy 7 tariff means you pay different rates depending on what time of day you use it. It's also known as a "white meter" tariff. You can still save, as Economy 7 users can compare in exactly the same way as everyone else.

These tariffs are only really worth considering if you have storage heaters, water tanks, work shifts or are able to use appliances on timers.

How do I find my Economy 7 usage?

If you have an Economy 7 tariff, to find your cheapest tariff you'll need to enter the amount of energy you use at different times. If you don't know, check your most recent bill or call your provider to ask.

I have an Economy 9 or Economy 10 meter - can I compare?

Those with Economy 9 or Economy 10 meters aren't well catered for, as suppliers don't make it easy to get the right information. You can't currently compare on any comparison site. Instead, you'll need to ring round suppliers to get quotes.

These tariffs are only really worth considering if you have storage heaters, water tanks, work shifts or are able to use appliances on timers.

Essentials, Warm Assist, Spreading Warmth, Fresh Start and Energy Assist

Some tariffs aren't included on any comparisons. These social tariffs include British Gas's Essentials plan, E.on's Warm Assist, Npower's Spreading Warmth, Scottish Power's Fresh Start and EDF's Energy Assist.

To get a rough idea of what you can save, pick your provider's standard tariff and enter your usage in kilowatt hours. Ignore the savings in the results table. Instead, compare the estimated new costs with what you currently pay. Social tariffs are now being phased out and aren't open to new customers. They've been replaced by the Warm Home Discount.

Is Utility Warehouse any good?

This is a commonly-asked question. Unlike most energy companies and resellers, Utility Warehouse operates by network marketing, which means its customers are encouraged to sell on the product to their friends and they get commission for it.

This tends to mean it does well on feedback charts, as customers have a vested interest, and many of them are evangelical about the firm. That in itself doesn't make the product bad, but in our view it's no better or worse than any other energy provider.

The main pitch of Utility Warehouse is that you can also get cheap mobile, broadband and home phones with it and that reduces the fee. In general, we find using the cheapest individual providers undercuts this, so always compare with those before signing up to it. See our Cheap Home Phones, Cheap Broadband and Cheap Mobiles guides for more.

I use heating oil - how can I save?

Heating oil users don't have it easy. With neither a regulator nor a glut of independent price comparison websites to help, it's hard to save on ever-increasing heating oil bills. We don't yet include heating oil in Cheap Energy Club, but there are a few steps you can take to keep a lid on energy bills. Here are some brief pointers and links to help:

Benchmark prices. Use comparison sites BoilerJuice, CheapestOil, Fuel Tool and Heating Oil Shop to find a competitive price. Don't buy via them, though.

Haggle. Use the information from the comparison sites to ring round your local suppliers and haggle.

Don't buy in winter. Oil prices rocket when demand is high.

Try to plan ahead so you buy your fuel during summer when prices are likely to be lower.

Consider joining an oil-buying group. With the right numbers, bulk-buying heating oil as a village, for example, can give you leeway to negotiate better deals with suppliers. Citizens Advice has a handy tool to help find a group near you.

What happens if my energy company goes bust?

Most importantly, you won't lose your continuity of supply. Ofgem will appoint a supplier to take over, and you'll be moved across to a standard tariff. You can switch away without exit fees if the price isn't good enough, so make sure you do a comparison. The only risk is that if you're in credit with the now-bust supplier, you might not get your money back.

Where can I find or submit energy supplier feedback?

We do have warnings on the saving results page. We also provide feedback links to our forum for every company listed, so you can get information about customer service as well as prices. Register on our forum so you can post whenever you have a positive or negative experience.

Most energy providers are represented in the MSE Forum, so if you'd like to take a look or make a post about one supplier in particular, you can find the threads in the contact section below.

MY ACCOUNT

How do I update my usage or tariff details on my account?

To update your account details (and ensure that we're monitoring the correct details) just log in to your Energy Club account and follow these instructions:

1. On the 'Welcome Back' page, scroll down to 'Current Tariff Details'.

2. Click on 'Edit Details' and then you'll be able to update your usage, as well as your supplier and tariff.

If you switch through Energy Club, your tariff will automatically update for you once your supplier confirms the switch (it normally takes about 12 weeks for it to update us).

How do I delete my Cheap Energy Club account?

Why would you want to do that?! Please let us know if there's an issue by emailing energyclub@moneysavingexpert.com. But to delete your account, simply log in and click the 'Leave Energy Club' button at the bottom of the page.

Please note: If you delete your account, it doesn’t cancel any switches currently in progress. If you would like to cancel your switch with your energy provider, you’ll need to contact the provider as it won’t let us cancel for you. See the list of energy provider contact details below.

I seem to have forgotten my password, is there any way to reset this?

We all forget our passwords from time to time, so don’t worry! Firstly, on the Cheap Energy Club homepage, you can ask for a password reset. Just click ‘Forgotten Your Details?’, which is directly under the login area. The link’s valid for a week, or until you’ve used it. If you’re still having issues, email your name, email address and post code to: energyclub@moneysavingexpert.com.

I need to amend a switch, but there seems to be a problem with my account.

If you’ve got a switch in process, you won’t be able to update your details until your application has been accepted or rejected. This makes sure you don’t make multiple applications or change any details which may alter the terms of your potential new tariff.

I've got another property, can I add it to my Cheap Energy Club account?

It's not something Cheap Energy Club can do at the moment; you'll have to set up a new account with a different email address.

This ensures when users receive an email alert about possible savings, it’s specific to their account information. But it’s something we’re working on, so watch this space.

I’ve recently switched - why am I getting alerts telling me to switch again?

We built Cheap Energy Club to constantly monitor your energy tariff. Energy suppliers constantly launch new tariffs, plus prices can rise and fall so it isn’t unusual for you to receive a savings alert email a few months after switching.

How often you switch depends on what kind of MoneySaver you are. Some people like the thrill of knowing they’re always on the very cheapest tariff, others are content to know they’re not hugely overpaying. If you want to receive fewer alerts, consider setting your trigger figure higher. To do this, simply log in to your Energy Club account and go to the monitoring information section.

How do I change my email address?

Log in into your Cheap Energy Club account using the old email address and your password.

1. Click on the blue ‘Edit Account’ box.

2. Then click on the ‘Edit’ button opposite your email address and you'll be able to change the address.

CONTACTS

If you have any queries or concerns, you can email us at energyclub@moneysavingexpert.com. Please include your full name, the email address you joined with and your postcode.

Energy Suppliers Contact Details

Affect Energy: 0330 606 2675

Avro: 0800 680 0795 or 0330 088 5754 

Better Energy Supply: 0115 846 0438

Bristol Energy: 0808 281 2222

British Gas/Scottish Gas: 0800 048 0202

Bulb: 0300 303 0635

Cardiff Energy Supply: 0292 132 1191

Co-operative Energy: 0800 954 0693

Daligas: 0800 111 4568

E: 0333 103 9575

Ebico: 0800 458 7689 or 0199 3608 404

Economy Energy: 02477 767 296

Ecotricity: 0800 030 2302

EDF Energy: 0800 056 7777

Energy SW: 0800 408 6716

Extra Energy: 0800 953 4774

E.on: 0345 301 4905

fairerpower: 0800 408 6701

First Utility: 0800 011 5167

Flow Energy: 0800 092 0202

Future Energy: 0800 158 5451

GB Energy Supply: 0800 644 4451

GnERGY: 0125 249 4141 

Good Energy: 0800 254 0000

Green Energy: 0800 783 8851

Green Star Energy: 0800 012 4510

iSupply Energy: 0330 202 0298

LoCO2 Energy: 0845 074 3601

M&S Energy: 0345 078 3208

Npower: 0800 316 3375

Octopus Energy: 0330 808 1080 and 0800 612 884

Ovo: 0800 599 9440

Peterborough Energy: 0800 408 6706

Places for People: 0177 289 7355

Robin Hood Energy: 0800 030 4567

Sainsbury's Energy: 0800 107 1879

Scottish Power: 0800 027 0072

So Energy: 0330 111 5050

Spark Energy: 0845 034 7474

SSE: 0345 026 2658

SSE Atlantic: 0345 026 0657

SSE Scottish Hydro: 0345 078 3207

SSE Southern Electric: 0345 071 7998

SSE Swalec: 0345 071 9840 

The Utility Warehouse (Telecom Plus): 0333 777 0777

Utilita: 0345 207 2000

White Rose Energy: 0800 022 3553