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Gas and Electricity Products Explained

Energy bills make up a large proportion of the average householder's outgoings s and can be a huge financial strain. That's why it's so important to make sure you are on the right tariff and not paying over the odds.  But with so many options available, it can often be confusing to know which one to go for.

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Read our guide to find out which one is likely to be the most efficient and economical for you.

Prepayment meters

A prepayment meter works on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is great for people who want to keep track of exactly what they are spending and it means that there are no nasty bill shocks.

On the downside, meters can eat your money and be a real inconvenience. If you're not organised and run out late at night, you could be waking up to a freezing house with no hot water.

Fixed price energy

Another good way to keep control of your finances without the inconvenience of a prepayment meter is going for a fixed-price energy deal.

You pay your provider a set price for your bills over an agreed period of time, meaning you know exactly what your outgoings are going to be every month.

However, be aware that you could be at a disadvantage if energy prices fall. And if you decide to leave before the time period is up, you are likely to have to pay a penalty fee.

Dual Fuel

This is when you receive both your gas and electricity from the same provider. Dual Fuel makes it easier to keep track of your outgoings and is often cheaper, with many providers offering a discount if you get both fuels from them.

Economy 7

Economy 7 is a type of electricity tariff that charges you a different price for your electricity at certain times of the day. You benefit from cheaper electricity for seven hours at night as this is when demand is less.  This is great if you are out at work and therefore not using your electricity and it also means you can set certain electrical appliances to come on in the evening such as your washing machine and also heat water.

Green energy

It's not only eco-warriors seeking to save the planet who should consider going green where their energy is concerned. Many energy companies now offer the option of a green tariff which can be more costly than traditional tariffs but will give you peace of mind that you're doing your bit to reduce your carbon footprint.

Generally there will be two options. The first is a guarantee that for every unit of electricity you use, an equal quantity of green energy will be produced by your provider. The second is an agreement that the extra you pay on your bill will be put towards renewable energy projects.

Whatever tariff you decide to go for, it really does pay to do your research online and compare quotes from a number of providers. You will then be able to find the best deal for you with the cheapest tariff.