Understanding the UK energy market

UK energy suppliers

The UK energy market is confusing. How does it work?

If you are looking to get a great deal on your energy supply in the UK it can be very confusing. There are dozens of suppliers and hundreds of available tariffs. Suppliers make all sorts of promises about great rates, green energy and good customer service, so it can be hard to know where to start looking. So, just why is the UK energy market so confusing and what can you do to make it simpler?

Why are there so many suppliers on the market?

In the UK energy companies used to be state owned and everybody was supplied by the same few providers. However, energy was privatized in the 80s and 90s, with the idea that the market would open up to a huge range of suppliers and increased competition to improve service and help to lower bills.

What that means is that there are now more than 50 energy suppliers in the UK, each with a range of tariffs and business policies aimed at appealing to different customers. You can switch between suppliers to find a better deal or energy supplied in the way you want.

How to find the right supplier for you

Try to identify what it is you most want from your energy supplier. Is it the best possible value rates per kWh or is it getting energy from renewable sources? Maybe you want smart meter or Economy 7 tariffs, or a focus on digital only billing? Once you know what it is you want you can find tariffs that most suit your needs.

Of course, that would still involve scouring the internet and looking at all possible supplier sites. Which is where we come in at Papernest. We can help you to find the tariffs and suppliers that most suit your needs. Just get in touch with a member of our team on 0330 054 0017 and we can help you find the best deal.

Energy distribution for Electricity and Gas – DNOs

For both electricity and gas in the UK, your distribution network operator (DNO) is the company that owns and operates the power infrastructure that connects your property to the grid. There are different DNOs for different areas of the UK, so you may need to find out which one is responsible for your connection if you have a problem. You can do this using the Energy Networks Association’s postcode search tool. Once you find out who your DNO is, they can help with any queries you may have about connecting your property, power cuts or moving your meter.

National Grid Electricity Transmission

For electricity, National Grid Electricity Transmission owns and maintains the high voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. They connect the DNOs to homes and commercial properties through a network of power lines and underground cables.

National Transmission System

The UK’s National Transmission System is the network of gas pipelines used to supply about forty power stations and large industrial users. These connections come from natural gas terminals situated on the coast, which send gas to large distribution companies which then supply commercial and domestic users across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Energy pipeline transporting gas

What is Ofgem?

As the energy market is so confusing and so many promises are made there needs to be some kind of regulatory body that ensures everyone is playing by the rules and dealing with customers in the fairest possible way. The energy sector is overseen by an ombudsman called Ofgem. They regulate the individual companies, setting price caps and making sure they supply energy in a fair way for all customers.

How can Ofgem protect you?

Ofgem is a non-ministerial government department that can help you to deal with complaints against energy companies if you feel you have not been treated fairly. They can arbitrate between you and the provider to ensure the best possible solution to any situation that arises. To find out more, you can get in touch with Ofgem here or look through their website for the relevant information.

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