Little-known energy companies are beating the big suppliers to offer the cheapest prices on the market.
And some of the companies with the top deals hail from Italy, France and Holland.
But many households will be nervous about putting their gas and electricity supplies with firms they have never even heard of.
So which are the firms putting the Big Six suppliers to shame?
Here we give our rundown of the tiny energy firms offering the best deals.
Small is beautiful: Little-known energy companies are beating the big suppliers to offer the cheapest prices on the market
The international French firm (0800 280 8000, ) has its origins in Gaz de France, set up by former communist minister for industry Marcel Paul when he nationalised the country’s gas production just after World War II.
Engie operates in 70 countries and has been supplying businesses in the UK for 30 years, but only started offering deals to households last December.
This week, it even promised to switch customers to the best tariff at the end of their fixed deals.
Engie is still part-owned by the French government and its UK chief executive, Wilfrid Petrie, 51, is French. But it has offices in Leeds and a call centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Customers can pay by cheque at no extra cost but it charges £15 more a year per fuel if you have paper bills. It plans to allow cash payments via the Post Office in the near future.
Cheapest tariff: Fixed Sept 18 v3 Paperless, £879 a year for a typical household using 12,500 kilowatt hours of gas and 3,100 kWh of electricity a year.
Fears: Many households will be nervous about putting their gas and electricity supplies with firms they have never even heard of
Green Network Energy
This company says it wants to ‘bring a little Italian flavour’ to the UK’s energy market and greets callers with a cheery ‘benvenuto’ before asking whether they’d like to continue their call in English.
Green Network Energy (0800 520 02 02) was founded in 2003, but only arrived in the UK last November. Vice president Sabrina Corbo 47, has moved to London to help the firm take on Britain’s Big Six.
Its call centres in London and Ireland are staffed by Italian and English workers.
The firm reinvests its profits in green energy production.
Cheapest tariff: The Italian Touch V4 GNE FIX, £883 a year for a typical household.
An East London renewable energy start-up launched just a year ago and founded by Cambridge maths boffin Amit Gudka and economics graduate Hayden Wood, both 33.
Mr Gudka was an energy trader and Mr Wood a management consultant before they set up shop together.
Bulb (0300 30 30 635) has only one tariff, a variable-rate deal called Vari-Fair. It only accepts payment by direct debit and doesn’t offer paper billing. Its call centre is based in London.
Cheapest tariff: Vari-Fair, £888 a year.
Foreign invasion: Some of the companies with the top deals hail from Italy, France and Holland
Launched just over a year ago, Bristol Energy (0808 281 2222) is wholly owned by the city council but supplies customers across the UK. It ploughs profits back into the Bristol community.
As well as nationwide tariffs, it has a range of special deals for Bristol customers and four other regional tariffs for the South West, West Midlands, South Wales and the South. Its call centre is also based in Bristol.
Paper bills cost an extra £6 a year per fuel. Customers can pay by cheque or cash if they prefer at no extra cost. Managing director Peter Haigh, 53, has worked in the energy market for 20 years, including a stint at giant E.On.
Cheapest tariff: One-year fix issue 13 paperless, £901.
Sister company to Dutch supplier EnergieFlex, it was only set up in the UK last month and is based in Farnborough, Hants.
OneSelect (0333 2125973) is still restricted in the number of customers it can sign up. That’s because energy watchdog, Ofgem, sets limits on new energy firms to prevent them being flooded with customers they can’t service properly.
Its only tariff — Secure 1-year fix — is one of the cheapest on the market. OneSelect director Sathees Sampar, 40, remains in charge of EnergieFlex, founded in 2014, which supplies 100,000 customers in Holland.
There’s no charge for paper bills, and you can pay by cheque at no extra cost, if you don’t want to set up a direct debit. There’s no option to pay in cash.
Cheapest tariff: Secure 1-year fix, £850 (excludes Scotland).
Based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, the company (0330 606 2675,)was launched in March 2016. Chief executive John Szymik, 32, also hails from one of the Big Six, EDF Energy.
Affect says it aims to ‘keep things simple’, only ever offering one tariff at a time. It also has a standard tariff you will be automatically rolled onto when your deal ends.
Tariffs must be managed online and Affect Energy only accepts payments by direct debit.
Cheapest tariff: Fixed until May 2018, £882.