EDF Energy versus British Gas – which should I choose?

How do these big hitters compare on things like green credentials, cheapest deals and customer service? We find out

which should you choose?
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EDF has 5.3 million energy accounts and is the UK’s largest supplier of zero-carbon electricity, while British Gas is the UK’s largest energy supplier, with 6.5 million customers, including sister company British Gas Evolve, which was launched in 2020 to offer low-cost, digitally driven tariffs. 

These suppliers are big players in the energy market, providing energy to millions of customers. But how do they compare on the things that really matter? 

We break it down to find out. 

(MORE: How to choose the right gas and electricity supplier)

Scope of deals

EDF offers 13 tariffs, which include prepayment, fixed and variable deals, including:

Easy Online 2 Year Fix

This manage-online tariff is fixed until June 2023. Chat online (no call centre) and £15 exit fee per fuel. This online tariff is also available as a three-year fix.

Easy Online+BoilerCare Gold

This tariff is fixed until June 2023 and includes a six-month boiler maintenance plan worth £70.20. Early exit fee of £15 per fuel.

Easy Online tariff with a bundle deal

Add boiler cover or smart home devices to your energy deal for just a few extra pounds a month.

As well as its standard variable and pay-as-you-go plans, British Gas tariffs include:  

Complete Protection Sep 2023

Includes central heating, plumbing and drains breakdown and home service cover for 12 months.

Green Future June 2023

100% renewable electricity and 10% of green gas and the remainder offset. 

(MORE: How to find the best deals)

What are the cheapest deals on offer?

British Gas

British Gas Evolve Exclusive Energy Plus Cover v9

Fixed for 24 months | No exit fees | £1,091* a year

Energy Direct Jun23 Fixed until 30 June 2023 | No early exit fee | Smart meter installation required | £1,097* a year

Energy Direct Jun23

Fixed until 30 June 2023 | No early exit fee | Smart meter installation required | £1,097* a year

Simply Online 2 Year Fix Jun23v3 Online tariff is fixed until June 2023 | Chat online (no call centre) |  Paperless billing | Smart meter installation is mandatory | Exit fee: £35 per fuel | £1,106* a year

Simply Online 2 Year Fix Jun23v3

Online tariff is fixed until June 2023 | Chat online (no call centre) |  Paperless billing | Smart meter installation is mandatory | Exit fee: £35 per fuel | £1,106* a year

British Gas

British Gas Home Energy Secure June 2023

100% renewable electricity | Fixed for a year | £1,256* a year

All British Gas fixed-term contracts have exit fees of £40 per fuel. 

(MORE: How to save money on your energy bills)

Green credentials

EDF’s electricity tariffs are 100% sourced from nuclear power. It uses carbon emission reduction certificates to offset any residual carbon to produce zero carbon electricity. 

All British Gas’ fixed-term tariffs are from renewable sources and are backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates, as are British Gas Evolve’s tariffs.

Its greenest tariff is Green Future, with renewable electricity bought through agreements with wind generators in the UK. It matches 10% of the gas used with green gas, which is fed directly into the UK gas network. It offsets the customers gas carbon footprint on this tariff by buying Carbon Emission Reduction certificates to support projects in the developing world. It achieved a gold standard in Uswitch’s green accreditation scheme.

British Gas’ default and prepay tariffs are not as green – they supply electricity which is 100% zero carbon (70% renewables and 30% nuclear).

(MORE: Which are the greenest energy suppliers?)

What kind of incentives do they offer?

EDF runs incentive campaigns via some cashback websites and a refer-a-friend scheme, where it adds £50 credit to each account. 

British Gas' refer-a-friend scheme offers an Amazon.co.uk gift card worth up to £50 each. 

How good is its customer service?

In the Which? annual survey of energy customers, EDF came joint 18th out of 25 companies. It kept customers waiting on the phone for an average of 13 minutes.

On a positive note, it came eighth out of 35 companies in the Citizens Advice energy supplier survey, with a score of four, and it scores 4.2 on Trustpilot.

In the same survey, British Gas was the highest rated of the big suppliers, but only came joint 18th with EDF. It kept customers on hold for an average of 23 minutes.

It came 15th, with a score of 3.2 in the Citizens Advice survey – the same score as on Trustpilot – while British Gas Evolve’s Trustpilot score is 2.2. 

(MORE: Customer service of UK's largest energy suppliers ranked)

Conclusion

Both British Gas and EDF Energy offer tariffs linked to a boiler plan, while some of the cheapest EDF and British Gas Evolve tariffs must be managed online. EDF’s quote for this type of tariff was the cheapest, while British Gas Evolve’s included energy cover for just £16 extra over the year.

EDF Energy’s green electricity tariffs are 100% sourced from nuclear power, while British Gas’ green tariffs and British Gas Evolve are sourced from renewables (see below). Some customers prefer wind or solar to nuclear because the uranium or plutonium used as fuel in nuclear power stations is not renewable.

However, British Gas’ greenest tariff, Green Future, comes up trumps as it supplies 100% renewable electricity,10% of its gas is green and the rest is offset.

EDF performed better overall for customer service – British Gas Evolve has a poor Trustpilot score and British Gas doesn’t do much better.

EDF’s tariffs were cheaper, and its customer service was better, but consider British Gas for its greenest tariff.

* Prices assume a household in the London area with medium annual consumption of 2,900kWh of electricity and 12,000kWh of gas on a dual-fuel tariff, paying by monthly Direct Debit. There will be regional price variations, so check prices in your area. Prices correct on 08/06/2021. Source: MoneySuperMarket 

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