Gas Rates Explained
When looking for the best gas rates, it is important to know what causes the price differences between all the rates being offered. This is because the price you pay for your gas can depend on numerous factors. From the part of the country you live in, to your current contract, to how stable the domestic and international markets are, gas tariffs can often vary quite significantly. To help you negotiate these differences, UKPower will use your information to find the very best gas rates that match your specific requirements.
What affects gas rates in the UK?
When looking for the cheapest gas rates, you will notice that prices vary depending on which part of the UK you live in. While this may seem slightly unfair, there are a variety of reasons why such price differences exist.
Firstly, the price you pay for your gas will be affected by how much energy your provider supplies in your area. While this usually means the more energy they supply the cheaper your rates will be, this is not always the case. Some densely populated areas, such as cities, are often more expensive than more remote or rural areas.
Another contributing factor to the geographical differences in UK gas prices is whether your energy supplier generates any of its energy in your area. If energy is generated in your area, transportation costs are lower, leading to a drop in the tariffs you pay.
Thirdly, the price you will pay is also dependent on how much your energy supplier pays to use the local distribution network in your area. There are also external factors out of your control that can affect gas prices. These factors include political situations, market prices and natural disasters, both in the UK and overseas.
As well as the main energy suppliers operating in the UK, there are also numerous Independent Gas Transporters (IGT). These IGTs maintain a small network of private gas pipes found throughout the UK. Gas tariffs for these IGTs are often more expensive than other deals. If you are unsure whether your gas is supplied through one of these networks, contact your current supplier who will be able to tell you.
What are the cheapest gas rates?
There are many different tariffs which will differ in price:
- Variable rate tariffs – One of the most common types of contract in the UK, these are often also the most expensive as they are applied to customers who have not negotiated a new deal or switched to a different energy supplier in recent years.
- Fixed rate tariffs – These are usually some of the cheapest tariffs on the market, with the unit price you pay per kWh of gas set for the duration of your contact – protecting you from increases in market prices.
- Online tariffs – These tariffs are designed for people who wish to manage their gas online. Often featuring a discounted rate, online tariffs are ideal for people who do not want to receive paper bills and prefer to provide meter readings through their online account.
- Dual fuel tariffs – These tariffs feature some great low prices and also enable you to manage your energy needs more easily by having your gas and electricity supplied to you from the same one energy provider.
- Green energy tariffs – Once expensive, these tariffs have fallen in price in recent years, making them a very good option for people wanting to reduce their dependence on traditional fossil fuels.
- Prepayment tariffs – For customers wanting or required to pay for their gas in advance, prepayment meters are available that enable the gas supply to be controlled via the use of a ‘topping up’ card or key.
- Peak and off-peak tariffs – There are a number of tariffs that offer special discounted hourly rates for certain periods of the day. These include tariffs that offer a lower unit price during the night than in the daytime, as well as others that offer up 10 hours a day of discounted gas usage. These deals are still quite new on the market and therefore may not be offered where you live.
- No standing charge tariffs – Eliminating the need to pay a daily standing charge, this tariff may, at first, seem ideal. However, they will often feature a higher unit price per kWh, and you could therefore end up paying more for your gas.
How to find the best gas rates
The quickest, easiest and most effective way of finding the best gas rates is to conduct an online price comparison. This is because there are now so many energy providers operating in the UK that to contact all of them, provide each with your information, and the compare the quotes from them would take too long for it to be an effective way of getting the best deal.
To overcome this, the team of experts at UKPower will instead use your information to narrow down the choice and provide you with a list of the very best deals. Searching both the big six energy suppliers in the UK and smaller, more-specialised providers such as those offering renewable energy, the search will be comprehensive.
To get going, simply type your postcode into our online price comparison tool. From this, you can then make your decision, before allowing us to do the rest – with the entire process often able to be completed online and in a very short time.