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Help & Frequently Asked Questions

HOW TO REGISTER AND COMPARE DEALS

The calculator estimates your current energy usage based on your annual kilowatt hour (kWh) usage, your bill amount or the low/medium/high user data you entered.

It takes (or calculates) your current kWh usage by comparing the data you supply to 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 types are also taken into account. The estimated annual savings figure is calculated by subtracting the costs of other tariffs from your current costs.

  1. Go to the Cheap Energy Club home page and click the orange ‘join now, it’s 100% free’ button.
  2. Enter your postcode, 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 into your account at any time – just use the login button in the top right hand corner.

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

To find your electricity supplier, see a list of numbers dedicated to your region.

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.

This 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.

If you can’t find your address when using the comparison tool, it could be because you’re the owner of a new-build.

This is because your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) or MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number), together with your address details, may not have been passed onto an energy database, such as ECOES.

It’s worth calling your energy supplier, and asking it to double-check it added your address and meter number to the database.

This must happen for you to be able to use Cheap Energy Club, or any other comparison site.

Pick the cash/cheque option in the dropdown list.

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.

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.

The Warm Home Discount is a £135 rebate given by suppliers to those in need across England, Wales and Scotland.

The Government says you must get the rebate if you are 75+ and get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, or if you’re under 75 and only get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. Some suppliers are more generous and have wider eligibility criteria.

If you're worried you won't be eligible for the Warm Home Discount when you switch, ring the supplier you're switching to and ask.

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).

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.

ALL ABOUT SWITCHING

Don't worry too much about switching. Only customer service, billing and, most importantly, prices change. The pipes, circuits, wires, safety coverage 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).

Energy suppliers have a cooling-off period which can vary (depending on the supplier) from 7 - 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 6 - 8 weeks to complete, depending on the supplier.

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 being 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). Some suppliers are busy at the moment due to the price hikes, with so many switching at this time. If you ever have any queries about your switch, you can always contact your energy supplier for an update.

You can switch as many times as you like, though bear in mind it can take around 6-8 weeks to complete a switch.

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.

If you change your mind after requesting the switch, you'll have a cooling-off period of around 7 to 14 days (depending on the supplier) in which to stop it going through.

Use the contact details below. It takes 24 hours for your new supplier to receive your details, so wait this long before cancelling.

You don't need to contact your existing supplier, it will be done for you. It will simply send you a final bill - make sure you give it an accurate meter reading to base the bill on.

You shouldn'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 received your final bill from the old 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.

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.

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.

Yes, you can still switch, though some smaller suppliers such as First Utility 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. Now, only Npower charges - its £10 per year per customer, for both prepaid and credit customers.

Independent gas transporters (IGTs) are often used by constructors instead of National Grid in new-build properties as they charge less to fit pipes. One in 20 people are supplied by them instead of National Grid.

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.

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.

Check your account profile to see the status of your switch. It’ll say it’s either accepted, rejected or still in progress.

Usually your new supplier makes contact within 4-6 weeks. If it takes longer than 6-8 weeks, there may be a problem.

MoneySupermarket sends switch applications to the energy suppliers, so you’ll need to contact your chosen supplier if there are any issues. We’re only told about rejected or accepted switches after they have happened, so we can then issue any cashback due.

When you contact your supplier, if you decide to make a 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  register your switch through CEC, your cashback will no longer be issued.

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.

CASHBACK

If you went through a comparison or provider which promises cashback when you switch – including our Cheap Energy Club – it usually takes between 3 to 5 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. (Any manual bill payers should note that the cashback will be paid by cheque).

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 into your bank account around three months after switching. It will appear as "EnergyClubCashbk". You can get cashback once every 12 months, per household.

If you've not received your cashback and it's been at least three months since you switched, please email energyclub@moneysavingexpert.com and we'll chase it 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.

Some providers have announced price hikes - should I switch?

Energy suppliers are like sheep - so when one hikes prices the rest follow, in time. When we're in a round of price hikes it's best to sit tight until all suppliers have announced their rises - otherwise you could move from the frying pan to the fire.

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 £30 cashback tariffs. These come from MoneySupermarket and will appear on your bank statement as ‘EnergyClubCashbk. They can take up to 12 weeks from switching to be paid straight into your account.

The third option is cashback over £30. Here, the £30 is from MoneySupermarket, but the extra amount on top comes from the energy supplier. This extra sum can sometimes appear in your back account separately.

ENERGY PROVIDERS & TARIFFS

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.

It will be a couple of weeks before you hear from your new supplier, maybe longer in some cases. Usually suppliers are quicker than this, but due to the high volumes of switches they're receiving it's taking longer than it should. Users are telling us Npower and M&S Energy are being particularly slow.

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

It takes about six to eight weeks for your supply to go live, it can be longer in some cases. This is one reason why you should look at getting a fixed tariff urgently.

It may take a couple of weeks to get your welcome pack from the provider. This is taking even longer than usual at the moment due to the high volume of switches. To make matters even worse, you've been telling us that when you ring the new supplier, it's telling 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.

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 alert you. And please use our feedback threads in the results table so others can read about your experiences - good or bad.

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

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.

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

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.

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 the Cheap Home Phones, Cheap Broadband and Cheap Mobiles guides for more.

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 Compare Fuel Oil and BoilerJuice 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 can give you leeway to negotiate better deals with suppliers. Citizens Advice has a handy tool to help find a group near you.

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 http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/register.php so you can post whenever you have a positive or negative experience.

Most energy providers are represented in the 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

Why would you want to do that?! 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 process. 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 providers contact details below.

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 log-in 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.

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.

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.

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

Click on the blue ‘Edit Account’ box (highlighted in red).

Then click on the ‘Edit’ button opposite your email address (highlighted in red) and you will be able to change the address.

TECHNICAL HITCHES

I am using Google Chrome.
If you’re using the latest version of Google Chrome, open up a webpage. To the right of the URL bar is an icon that looks like three dashes. Once you’ve clicked on this icon, you’ll see a list of options. Select “History” and click the “Clear browsing data…” icon.

I am using Internet Explorer.
If you’re using the latest version of Internet Explorer,  go to the top right hand side of your web browser.

Underneath the “X”, you’ll find a circular icon that shows your internet tools. Click this icon and a list of options will appear. You’ll need “Internet options”. Under the opening tab, “General”, you’ll see the “Browsing history” section with an icon “Delete…”

Once you’ve clicked this, make sure you have “Temporary internet files and website files”, “Cookies and website data” and “History” selected. Then finally, click delete.

I am using Mozilla Firefox.
If you’re using the latest version of Firefox, open up a web page. Along the top left you’ll find an orange bar with the words “Firefox”. This will bring a drop down menu were you will need to navigate to the “History” tab and finally click the “Clear recent history…” option.

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.

Atlantic: 0800 028 3028

British Gas/Scottish Gas: 0800 048 0202

Co-operative Energy: 0800 954 0693

Ebico: 0800 458 7689 and 01993 608404

Ecotricity: 0800 0302 302

EDF Energy: 0800 056 5927

Eon: 0345 301 4905

First Utility: 0845 215 5000

Good Energy: 0845 456 1640

Green Energy: 0800 954 0675

Loco2: 0845 074 3601

iSupply Energy: Go online www.isupplyenergy.co.uk

Npower: 0800 316 3375

Ovo: 0800 5999 440

Scottish Hydro Electric: 0800 117 116

Scottish Power: 0845 270 6543

SSE: 0800 048 2412

Seeboard Energy: 0800 056 5927

Southern Electric: 0800 117 116

Spark Energy: 0845 869 4002

Swalec: 0800 028 3028

Sweb (part of EDF): 0800 056 5927

The Utility Warehouse (Telecom Plus): 0800 131 3000

Utilita: 0845 8830146

To help you decide which supplier to switch to, we’ve set up feedback discussions where you can read others’ comments or add your own. To post a comment, you’ll need to register but it’s free to join. If you’re new to forums, read our forum intro guide.

Here are the discussion threads for the biggest energy suppliers:

British Gas
E.on
Ebico
Ecotricity
EDF Energy
M&S Energy
Npower
Sainsbury’s Energy
Scottish Hydro
Scottish Power
Southern Electric
SSE
Swalec

How it works

1. Check you're on the cheapest deal

There is no one cheapest provider. The cheapest tariff for you depends on where you live and how much energy you use. Give us your details and, using data from MoneySupermarket, we'll search the whole market and find the cheapest gas and electricity deal for you.

2. Constantly monitor your tariff

The energy market moves fast. Blink and you can miss good deals. Plus, what was once the market's top tariff for you can become pricier. With the details you've given us, we can constantly monitor the shifting sands and shout when it's time for you to switch.

3. Alert you when it's time to switch again

So you don't have to keep track of what's happening, once we know you can save money on your current deal, we'll drop you an email or send you a text (whichever you prefer) to remind you to switch. Can't be bothered to switch for £20? No problem, set your savings trigger to a figure that makes switching worthwhile and we'll only tell you when you can save that amount.