Want to escape the British Gas price rise? Here are the alternatives

4 August 2017

Millions of British Gas customers were hit with the news this week that electricity prices will be hiked by 12.5% from 15 September.  

And sadly, it’s not the only energy provider to be the bearer of bad news. Its five fellow Big Six energy providers have already upped prices this year as follows:

But just because the Big Six are the biggest and most well-known providers, that doesn’t mean you should stick with them.

Moneywise gives you some alternatives below – although bear in mind that there is no ‘one size fits all’ energy provider.

The top energy providers: Price

If it’s price alone you care about, the top five cheapest deals on the market today for an average dual fuel energy user paying by direct debit, are as follows. 

SupplierTariffTypeAverage annual price
IRESAIRESA Flex4 Standard Direct DebitVariable£834
Economy EnergyOnline SaverOne-year fix£844
One SelectSecure 1 Year fixedOne-year fix£850
Tonik EnergyPositively RenewableOne-year fix£854.09
Breeze EnergyBreeze Energy UK Fixed 1 Year V1One-year fix£855
Source: uSwitch.com, 3 August 2017. Prices based on average dual fuel user paying by monthly direct debit.

These prices compare to the average Big Six dual fuel tariff (for those paying by monthly direct debit) of £1,151, according to uSwitch – meaning the average energy user could save over £300 by switching.

However, bear in mind that the best provider and deal for you depends on how much energy your household uses and where in the country you live – the tariffs in the table above are only average and these aren’t going to be the cheapest deals for everyone. Always do a price comparison to find the best deal for you .

If you’re thinking, hold on a minute, I’ve never heard of any of these suppliers in the table, here’s a brief overview.

IRESA: Supplies dual fuel and electricity-only tariffs. It's been operating since April 2016. However, be warned that it has a rating of 2.1 out of 10 on TrustPilot based on 307 reviews.

Economy Energy: Supplies electricity-only, gas-only, and dual fuel customers. It offers a range of different tariff types and it also supplies prepayment meter customers. It’s been supplying energy since March 2013 and it has an 8.2 rating on TrustPilot based on 4,843 reviews. Energy regulator Ofgem did however, launch an investigation into the provider’s sales tactics last September.     

One Select: Launched in April 2017. It's owned by EnergieFlex, a company that launched in 2014 to supply homes in the Netherlands. It supplies dual fuel, electricity-only, and gas-only customers. But it doesn’t supply customers with prepayment meters. It has a rating of 7.3 on TrustPilot but this is only based on 23 reviews. Moneywise contacted the company to find out when it launched but we’re yet to receive a response.     

Tonik Energy: Launched in August 2016, Tonik Energy provides 100% green electricity tariffs to dual fuel and electricity-only customers. It doesn’t supply to customers with a prepayment meter. Tonik has an 8.9 rating on TrustPilot based on 254 reviews.

Breeze Energy: Only has one tariff supplied on a dual fuel basis. It has no ratings yet on TrustPilot. Moneywise has contacted the provider to find out when it launched and we’re awaiting a response.   

The top energy suppliers: Customer service

When it comes to our home service providers customer service is just as important as price. The results of our most recent Home Finances Awards in 2016 saw Utility Warehouse come top in the gas and electricity sector for the second year running when it comes to best value for money, best customer service, and best clarity of bills.

Utility Warehouse: Launched its energy business in 2008. But it doesn’t just provide energy, it’s owned by Telecom Plus and offers a suite of services around the home, including broadband, TV and mobile phones, which are consolidated into a monthly bill. It offers two bundles that include energy: phone, broadband and energy, and phone, broadband, mobile and energy. It supplies dual fuel, electricity-only and gas-only tariffs, as well as prepayment customers. It has a score of eight on TrustPilot from 3,696 reviews.

Ovo Energy also impressed in our Home Finances Awards and was runner-up for value for money, customer service and its clarity of billing.

Ovo Energy: Has been supplying energy since September 2009. It has a range of tariffs including a 100% renewable electricity offering. It supplies duel fuel and electricity-only households, as well as those with pre-payment meters. It has 8.7 rating on TrustPilot from 8,238 reviews.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Big Six drew most of the flak from voters in our Home Finances Awards 2016. Some of the most negative comments were reserved for Scottish Power, in particular. The firm received plenty of comments about shoddy service, inaccurate billing and eye-watering prices. 

Charity Citizens Advice also monitors complaints about energy providers, so check its ratings too.

The best energy suppliers: Renewable ‘green’ energy

If you’re interested in green credentials, Tonik Energy provides the cheapest average tariff, as detailed above.

However, there are many other green providers on the market including the likes of Bulb, Green Energy, and Octopus. Read our feature on Should you go green? for more information – it’s not just price and customer service you need to be aware of here, you also need to consider the percentage of green energy you’d like to be supplied and the renewable energy sources used to generate the gas and electricity. 

Have your say on energy and other providers by voting in the Moneywise Home Finance Awards 2017.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Over last 6 years I have been with Scottish Power, EDF, First Utility, Good Energy, iSupply and all have all failed miserably in terms of energy price (gas & electric) promises. All had poor customer service and websites that were the opposite of user friendly. Utter nightmare.Been with Breeze now for about 7 months and so far, really pleased with the service. Website a breath of fresh air with clear energy usage, pricing and account balance information. All displayed in a way that is beautifully understandable (even to this pensioner) and leaves nothing to the imagination. And unlike the above energy suppliers, no customer service spin. (frustrating lies)Well done Breeze Energy long may it continue. Hope I can say 'Ditto' in 12 months time.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I have a 'free sunday electric tariff' There is no such thing as free in my opinion but it is a discount. This is being withdrawn and the new best tariff offered to me by my current supplier will increase my electric bill by some 62% in the year working on a like for like usage basis.. Because of this I am now seriously considering a switch having been loyal to my present supplier for some 40 years

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I switched over a year ago from British Gas to First Utility, and have `saved` over £260 in the first year!

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