British Gas vs npower

A comparison of two of the UK's biggest energy suppliers

Struggling to find the right energy provider? We’re here to help. Read on for a comparison of two of the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy providers. We’ll be covering areas such as value for money, environmental sustainability and customer satisfaction.

If you want to compare a wider variety of suppliers based on your location and needs, just enter your postcode below. You’ll be surprised to see how much you could be saving.

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eon
Tariffs availableFixed, variable, capped, PAYG, online only, dual fuelFixed, variable, capped, PAYG, online only, dual fuel, green
Exit feesVaries by tariffVaries by tariff
Customer satisfaction68% (Ofgem)60% (Ofgem)

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About British Gas and npower

British Gas and npower are both part of the group of energy suppliers known as the ‘Big Six’ – older companies that dominate the energy market in the UK.

British Gas

British Gas is by far the most popular domestic energy supplier, with 20 million customers in the UK. As well as gas and electricity, the company offers products like boiler cover, insurance and smart home gadgets.

npower

npower supplies over 6 and a half million customers with energy in the UK. The big six supplier is owned by German giant RWE.

Which is cheaper?

Both suppliers are competitive, but tariff’s are changing all the time and depends on your location and energy usage – that’s why we recommend using our comparison tool. The Big Six don’t typically provide the cheapest deals so it’s definitely worth considering other options.

British Gas

British Gas promises to inform customers if they could be on a cheaper tariff and offers frequent exclusive and collective switch deals that result in competitive prices. On the 15 September 2017 the average energy used on a standard tariff experienced a 7.5% rise in costs.

npower

npower typically changes its pricing in line with the other big six. Back in January 2014 they hiked prices by 7.8% (the largest increase of the big 6) following the governments cuts to green subsidies. However, in February 2017 the provider slashed prices by 5.2% after a reduction in the wholesale cost of energy.

  • Winner: It depends

Both companies offer some competitive benefits, but are also liable to raise prices even more in the future. The best way to find out which is better value for you is to run an energy comparison, using a postcode checker like the one at the top of this page.

Which offers more tariff options?

An energy supplier that offers a range of options can be desirable – you don’t want to be stuck on an overly expensive standard tariff.

British Gas

As well as offering the usual fare of standard variable, fixed and PAYG, British Gas has a number of exclusive and collective switch tariffs that could help you get a better deal. These are often only available for a short time, so you’ll have to be vigilant about checking out the latest options if you want to take advantage of the potential savings. It’s also possible to manage your account entirely online, but there’s no discount for doing so.

npower

In addition to their standard variable and fixed (1, 2 and 3 years) deals, npower offer’s a ‘Go Green Energy Fix’ Package. The deal which fixes rates until 2019 promises to match all of the electricity and 15% of the gas you use with energy generated from renewable resources. For each fuel you use on this package npower will plant a tree in UK city.

  • Winner: British Gas (just)

The selection of exclusive and collective switch tariffs means you have more opportunities to get a competitive deal with British Gas. However, if you like simplicity and don’t have the time to regularly check for the best rates, you’ll get along fine with npower’s options. Types of tariff explained

Which will help you avoid exit fees?

No matter which supplier you choose, it’s beneficial to be in a position to switch with minimal costs and hassle.

British Gas

On most British Gas tariffs, you’ll have to pay an exit fee if you want to end your contract early, ranging from about £20 to £40 per fuel. However, there standard variable tariff charges no exit fee.

npower

npowers Go Green Energy Fix, December 2019 Price Fix and Standard Variable tariffs all come without exit fees. However, if you decide to choose their March 2021 Super Fix deal you’ll have to pay £50 per fuel to leave early and on their December 2018 Online Price Fix you’ll be charged £35 per fuel.

  • Winner: Too tough to call

Although British Gas charge cheaper exit fees, npower offer a fixed deal without them. How to switch energy supplier

Which is more eco-friendly?

If you’re conscious of your carbon footprint, it’s worth investigating how forward-thinking a supplier is when it comes to green energy.

  • Winner: British Gas

British Gas is a clear winner here, getting a massive 14% more of its energy from renewables. npower falls 6% below the UK average. Green energy

Which has more satisfied customers?

An energy supplier that takes time and care over its customer service is sure to cause you less stress in the long run.

British Gas

According to Ofgem’s August 2017 report, 68% of British Gas customers agreed that they were satisfied with the supplier’s service. 31% of customers said they would recommend British Gas.

npower

The same report found that 60% of npower customers were satisfied with their service. 22%% of npower customers said they would recommend the supplier. Overall npower scored the lowest of the Big Six in all of Ofgems survey questions.

  • Winner: British Gas

    British Gas performed much better than npower for customer satisfaction. Check the results of all the big six here.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AlanDecember 27, 2017

    Hello,
    would it benefit me to switch electric from N-POWER to BG? My standing charge has nearly tripled, and usage charge has risen also.
    Yearly bill about £180 from £120 before.
    Cheers.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchDecember 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Alan,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      Both suppliers are competitive, but tariff’s are changing all the time and depends on your location and energy usage – that’s why we recommend using our comparison tool. The Big Six don’t typically provide the cheapest deals so it’s definitely worth considering other options.

      Both companies offer some competitive benefits, but are also liable to raise prices even more in the future. The best way to find out which is better value for you is to run an energy comparison, using a postcode checker.

      Best regards,
      Rench

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