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.
|Tariffs available||Fixed, variable, capped, PAYG, online only, dual fuel||Fixed, variable, capped, PAYG, online only, dual fuel, green|
|Exit fees||Varies by tariff||Varies by tariff|
|Customer satisfaction||68% (Ofgem)||60% (Ofgem)|
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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
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