How to pick the tariff that’s right for you

Hand switching on a light switch

With so many different gas and electricity tariffs available it can seem difficult to know which one is the best for you. In this article, we'll dispel some myths and explain some of the unfamiliar language used to describe tariffs, so you know what you're getting.

Find the right energy tariff for you.

There are two main types of tariffs:


Fixed rate

These tariffs will have a set price for the energy you use over a certain time period – often one to two years. Suppliers will often offer lower prices for these tariffs because you’re making a commitment to them. Some even offer some nice features when you sign up.


Pros:

  • You’ll pay the same rate for the amount of time you're on the tariff
  • You won't be affected by price rises
  • You usually get a lower price
  • You’re not constantly shopping around for the best deal


Cons:

  • If energy prices go down your price will stay the same
  • There are sometimes fees (known as exit fees) if you want to leave your tariff earlier than the contract end date
  • You might be looking at a more expensive deal when your fixed rate period comes to an end


Standard variable rate

If you don’t mind prices going up or down and are prepared to shop around more regularly, a standard variable rate could be your best option.

These tariffs will track the market rate for energy and you’ll pay that, plus an agreed percentage. Most companies will let you know in plenty of time if these prices change. When that happens you can decide if you’d like to switch, usually with no exit fee.


Pros:

  • You’ll be the first to benefit from price decreases
  • No exit fees


Cons:

  • Energy price rises will affect you
  • You’ll have to pay different amounts in line with market price changes
  • There are rarely any special offers or deals available

Browse our fixed rate and standard variable tariffs.

What’s the best EDF Energy tariff?

The best kind of tariff for you is one that suits your lifestyle. Consider your budget, any added perks you want such as boiler cover, smart tech, fixed rate or standard variable. We have a great range of tariffs to suit every home. 


Dual fuel or single fuel?

Dual fuel means you get both gas and electricity from one supplier. Single fuel means you get just one of either gas or electricity from one supplier. So you could have two suppliers – one for gas and one for electricity. The most common combination of fuel in people’s homes is gas and electricity. Suppliers often make their deals to supply both of these. If you only want gas or electricity you might need to get in touch to see what deals are available for you.


Your meter

Another thing which could limit the tariffs available to you is whether you have a prepayment or standard meter.
 

  • Prepayment meters: where you use a top-up card or key. These are a lot less common and deals aren’t as readily available. If you have one of these meters you’ll often only be able to get a standard variable rate tariff. As you pay up front, this only changes the amount of energy you use before your prepayment amount runs out.
  • Standard meters: these are the most common types of meters in the UK and won't restrict what kind of tariff you can get. They generally mean you'll get billed monthly for the amount you use or an estimate of what you use. In order to get the most accurate bill, you'll usually need to send regular meter readings to your energy supplier.


Picking a new tariff with a smart meter

If you find a new tariff with your current provider this will not affect your smart meter. If you want to switch providers this may affect your smart meter.

  • Smart meters: a smarter kind of meter that means you only pay for the exact amount of energy you use thanks to the smart meter communicating wirelessly with your supplier. So you don't have to submit meter readings with this one. Having a smart meter shouldn't affect what tariff you can get, but sometimes there are specific, additional tariffs open to you if you have a smart meter. Find out more in our smart meter section


Online management

Make the most of online only tariffs which will often give you the best deals. Online-only tariffs mean cheaper deals because of the reduced labour cost involved in managing the tariff. Because you don't need to use call centre support and your bills are all online, it reduces the price of the tariff and makes things easier for you to manage on your terms. You can also manage your energy supply, check on your pricing and (if you don’t have a smart meter) submit readings through an app.


Direct Debit or bills?

Setting up a Direct Debit makes things easy for you because you won’t have to remember to contact your supplier each time you need to pay. It’s also great for your supplier because they don’t have to do as much admin, so often you'll get cheaper energy paying this way.

Find the right energy tariff for you.