All energy tariffs will either be fixed or variable. A fixed energy tariff means that the tariff costs for gas and electricity will not change for the duration of the contract. However, a variable tariff has the possibility of the tariff costs going up and down every few months. This article will outline the differences between the two!
An energy tariff is how energy providers charge a customer for the gas and electricity they use. A tariff is made up of two tariff costs:
- Unit rate – the price you pay for your electricity and gas which is charged at pence per kilowatt-hours (p/kWh)
Standing charge – a fixed daily cost for supplying energy to your home, regardless of how much gas or electricity you use. It covers distribution and metering services – like line rental for energy.
What’s a fixed energy tariff?
- A fixed energy tariff means that your unit price for gas and electricity will not change for the duration of the contract
- These tariffs will always be for a set period. Usually between 12 and 24 months, but each tariff varies
- Usually these tariffs come with exit fees to pay if you leave the contract early
What’s a variable energy tariff?
- The price for your standing charge and unit rates can go up or down.
- Your contract does not have an end date.
- There are no exit fees.
- The tariff costs don't change all the time - usually about every 3 to 6 months.
- Suppliers must inform customers of any changes to the tariff costs in advance.
The only noticeable difference is that there are no exit fees or end date.
How to let us know which you'd prefer
As a member of Switchd, you have the opportunity to let us know if you have any preferences for the deals that you would like to be shown. You can choose to only switch to fixed tariffs or both. To amend these preferences, it's simple! All you need to do is go to your Switchd dashboard settings to update the options. See the screenshot below for an example.