Date:23 August 2011 I Comments: 5 I Views:13,835

Shop around!

I did and I found gas for about half the price of British Gas – with no standing charges!

What’s more, I know what the price will be after a forthcoming rise and it’s still nearly half the price of BG who haven’t even put their prices up yet!

So the story goes; I’ve recently rented a place closer to my office so I can spend a little more time at work (madness, I know).

The letting agent told me they would contact the utility providers on my behalf and then sent me a letter saying that although they would try, I was ultimately responsible for doing it myself. That, to me, was as good as them saying that I should just get on and do it.

First of all I had to find out who my current provider was so after a little search I found the M Number Enquiry Helpline (0870 608 1524)  – this is an automated service for finding out your Gas provider and I found it really easy to use.

To find out your electricity supplier there is a list of regional numbers to call with friendly operators waiting to take your call!

I found the list of numbers here:

Having found out my supplier for both gas and electricity was British Gas I set sbout calling them to find out the best tariff they could offer me.

This turned out to be their imaginatively titled ‘Websaver 12’ tariff.

Browsing their website while talking to an operator I found the actual monetary values of the tariff before the operator was able to tell me (and the website was running slowly).

For gas in my region the Tier 1 tariff is 8.849p per kwh and the Tier 2 tariff is 3.638p.

For electricity the Tier 1 tariff is 25.101p per kwh and the Tier 2 is 10.894p.

These are the current prices with a rise due at the end of summer/beginning of autumn.

The Tier 1 price is how much a customer pays for using up-to a set amount of kwhs (kilowatt hours) and any kwhs used above this amount are then charged at the Tier 2 rate. This is usually within a set amount of time and then the price resets back to the Tier 1 tariff.

I’m not going to spend a great deal of time at home so I doubt I’ll ever make it into the Tier 2 band but armed with the facts and figures I began searching comparison sites to see what I could find.

It was that helped me arrive at my final choice and it was the fact that they don’t just display the companies they partner with but also those they don’t which, means more choice for the customer.

I noticed that if I searched without knowing my current usage and just selected a box that said ‘low use/small flat’ I didn’t see as many results as I did when I entered my actual monthly usage.

This was a little confusing at first because my gas meter doesn’t show kwhs but another quick Google and I found this link: which, converts gas meter readings into kwhs.

By entering usage figures I became enlightened.

EBICO – the UK’s only not-for-profit energy supplier has one tariff and no standing charges.

Compared to British Gas:


BG – 8.849p (yet to increase)

EBICO – 4.02p (will increase to 4.788p mid Sept)


BG – 25.101p (yet to increase)

EBICO – 13.44p (will increase to 14.69p mid Sept)

Based on my usage for the 3 weeks I’ve been in the new place I expect to lower my forthcoming bills by approximately 45% compared to British Gas and probably over 50% after British Gas put their prices up. 

Switching was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made and all it took was one quick phone call (they haven’t paid to me to say this!).

If you’ve been looking into prices lately, EDF have a pretty good offer on at the moment that fixes prices until December 2012 and the rates per kwh are cheaper than EBICO but they apply a Standing Charge which, adds about £10 per month to the bill (when taking both gas and electricity).

Higher usage could represent a saving and houesholds using a combination of more than 500 kwhs of gas (approx) and more than 215 kwhs of electricity (approx) per month could be better off with EDF.


  1. Yeah, it definitely helps to know your usage in kwh. This helps you put the proper usage information into energy comparison websites. This combined with your location and you will be able to determine your best options. Just combining separate gas and electricity into one dual fuel tariff can save you a significant amount on your utilities.

  2. Vanquis

    Nice finds and very useful tips, especially when some of the companies are being so aggressive to force people to switch to uncompetitive tariffs.


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