How do I check what energy tariff I’m on?
Form standard variable and online-only tariffs, to dual-fuel and economy 7, the number of energy plans can make even the most clued-up consumer’s head spin.
To make matters more complicated, suppliers dream up ‘cool’ names for their tariffs to make them more attractive to households.
For what the different tariffs mean, you’ll need to have a read of this guide.
In this guide, we focus on how you can find out what tariff you’re actually on and why it pays to know when it’s coming to an end.
Why do I need to know what tariff I’m on?
First, a word on why it’s important you know what energy plan you’re on.
The truth is that some tariffs are fantastically priced (if you don’t believe us, have a go on our price comparison tool), while others are deliberately overpriced.
Standard variable tariffs (SVTs) are particularly pricy – often hundreds of pounds more expensive than the cheapest on the market.
British Gas, along with the rest of the Big Six, was exposed for having millions of customers stuck on its standard variable tariff, which is £129 more expensive than the cheapest deal available from…British gas.
Knowing what tariff you’re on is the first step to making sure you’re not getting fleeced.
If you’re on a company’s standard plan, you are almost certainly overpaying for your gas and electricity, maybe by £100s.
OK, so how do I check what energy tariff I’m on?
The easiest way to check what tariff you’re on is to get hold of a bill from your supplier.
Under rules set out by the industry regulator, Ofgem, Suppliers must include what tariff you’re paying for on your bill.
But they don’t necessarily want you to find this out and might make it difficult to find.
Swot up on your monthly bill or annual statement and make sure you know what information appears where.
Most suppliers have useful online tools to help – just google [company name] understanding your bill and you should find some useful information.
Npower, for example, displays the tariff details under the 'Your billing information' section, while Sainsbury’s Energy and British Gas both place it on the right of your bill, under your Customer Reference Number.
Scottish Power clearly displays the tariff name about a third of the way down the bill, next to the period the bill coves; EDF displays it to the right hand side of the second page, in the ‘About your tariff’ section; SSE also shows you what tariff you’re on, including when it ends and any exit fees, on page two; similarly, E.ON’s ‘About your tariff’ section is also on page two of the bill.
The biggest challenger to the Big Six, First Utility also shows Your Tariff information on page two.
The way a supplier displays the information on its bills will vary, but go through it with a fine toothcomb and you’ll find the information you need.
If you don’t receive regular bills (you might be on a prepayment meter, for example), your tariff information must be provided at least once a year in an annual statement.
If you have an online account with your supplier, you can also find out what tariff you’re on by logging in.
Again, where this is displayed on the website will vary depending on which supplier you’re with.
British Gas shows your tariff name underneath your account balance on your accounts page; to see your previous tariffs, head to the billing section and select billing history.
EDF, meanwhile, have a neat section called Change Tariff, which shows you what option you’re on and whether you could save money switching to a different EDF plan.
If all else fails, arm yourself with your account number, call up your supplier’s customer service phone line and ask them which tariff you’re on.
Remember, again under Ofgem rules, your bill must show you not just your tariff details, but the estimated cost in pounds per year of that tariff.
But it won’t show you quite how much you could save switching.
For that, you’ll have to head over to a price comparison site and crunch the numbers yourself.