Ten fixed energy deals are due to expire at the end of July and August. Households on these tariffs will then be automatically transferred to their energy supplier’s expensive standard tariffs, unless they have switched first.
With a blistering summer as this is turning out to be and the heatwave predicted to last until the middle of August, it is hard to concentrate the mind on thermostats.However, come the colder winter months, you may be very glad you did. You could save yourself over £155.00
Among the tariffs due to expire are those from British Gas and Scottish Power, two of the UK’s largest energy suppliers, as well as Sainsbury’s Energy and an electricity-only deal from iSupplyEnergy.
The average bill increase that people who have yet to switch can expect is £85.80, but ranges from £33.22 to £142.27 a year.
The biggest price increase will be felt by Scottish Power customers living in South East England, who are currently on the Online Energy Saver22 tariff.They can expect to see their annual bill jump by £155.77 on average.
If they switched to Extra Energy’s Fixed Price September 2015 v11 dual fuel tariff, instead of spending £1,208 on Scottish Power’s standard tariff they could have an annual bill of £990, which is a saving of £218.
It is only sensible to take action now – especially as it will take four to six weeks to switch tariffs.
If you are a customer with a fixed energy tariff, your supplier will notify you before it comes to an end, normally around 42-49 days before it expires. You should wait for this notice to arrive – and you then have a ‘switching window’, recently introduced by energy regulator Ofgem. Once you have received this notice, you can switch to another tariff without fear of being charged an early exit fee.
Of course, if you have not received a notice yet, there is nothing to stop you shopping around and seeing what tariff would suit you best. Arm yourself with your postcode and latest bill and use one of the comparison websites (for example, Gocompare.com or uSwitch.com).
Do your homework thoroughly, though, and watch out for small print conditions, such as mandatory meter readings, which apply on Co-operative Energy’s new ‘Fair and Square tariff – fixed until September 2015, and which costs an average of £989 a year.
First Utility also offers a deal fixed until next September, costing £992 a year. EDF Energy offers a fixed tariff until February 2016 at an average cost of £1,049.
If high energy bills were a worry for you in last year’s mild (although wet) winter, it really is worth acting now if you are on a fixed deal that is due to end. This winter could be a lot colder.
Bear in mind that there are other ways of helping yourself – for example, investing in energy-efficient appliances if your old ones are coming to the end of their useful lives, and investigating your electric heating options.
If you’d like to discuss your electric heating options with us, get in touch either via www.electricheatingexpert.co.uk or by calling us on 01252 501616.