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How to dodge a £445 energy bill rise

Npower and Co-operative Energy customers face the biggest gas and electricity bill increases in March

Gas and electricity price rises in March mean that if your fixed energy deal finishes, you could find yourself paying over £400 more in the next year if you don’t switch energy supplier.

Npower customers are set to see the biggest rises in bills, as its price rise (which came into effect on 16 March) means that its standard tariff now costs £445 more than the cheapest deal ending in March. Npower’s standard tariff is now the priciest of the Big Six’s standard tariffs – it’s what you’ll automatically be transferred to if you take no action before your deal ends.

Eight of the 27 tariffs ending this month are Npower’s. Four of them will result in bills costing at least £350 more on average over the next year if you forget to move to a new deal.

Co-operative Energy and GnERGY customers could also see £300 or more average increases in bills over the next year if they don’t switch. Another eight of the energy deals ending in March will see customers’ bills rise by £200 or more per year.

Scroll down to find out if you’re on the Npower tariff with the biggest price rise, or if your energy deal is ending in March.

With energy price rises announced by five of the six biggest energy companies, it’s the most important time to make sure you’re on a good deal and safe from price hikes. Use our independent switching service to find the cheapest deal and compare gas and electricity prices. Or you can call us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.

Fixed energy deals ending in March 2017

EDF Energy, Npower and SSE all have fixed energy deals ending this month. The average amount your bill will rise over the next year if you’re on any of the deals listed below (and don’t switch) is £173.

A couple of the deals ending will actually result in a lower bill on average next year. For example, EDF Energy’s Blue+Fixed Prepay March 2017 is £88 per year pricier than its standard deal is now. But if this is your energy deal, it’s still wise to shop around, as you could save even more. The cheapest deal available UK-wide now costs £834 – a saving of £248 on EDF Energy’s standard tariff.

We’ve found all the fixed deals ending in March so you can check whether yours is among them. Some firms can complete a switch in around three weeks, so there’s still time to switch before you feel the impact of the standard tariff price.

The table below lists all fixed energy deals ending this month, which will result in a £200 or more increase in your bill on average over the next year. Look below the table for a list of tariffs ending that have a smaller impact. Then scroll down for a list of the cheapest gas and electricity deals now.

Energy deals ending that may cost you £200 or more

 Supplier  Tariff  Average price across the UK  Standard tariff price  Average price increase
Co-operative Energy  Online March 2017 – Paperless £775 £1,121 £346
EDF Energy  Blue+Price Promise March 2017 – Paperless £824 £1,082 £258
First Utility  First Fixed March 2017 +
– Paperless, and v2, v3, v4
£806 to £849 £1,0701 £221 to £265
Flow Energy  Winter Warmer (Fixed April 2017) – Paperless £742 £949 £207
GnERGY  Fixed March 2017 – Paperless £775 £1,076 £301
iSupply Energy  iFix 201703 – Paperless and v2 £794 and £788 £1,024 £230 and £236
Npower  Collective Price Fix March 2017 – Paper and Paperless £742 £1,187 £445
Npower  Fixed Energy Online March 2017 – Paperless £782 £1,187 £405
Npower  Online Fix March 2017 – Paperless £765 £1,187 £422
Npower  Online Price Fix March 2017 – Paperless £808 £1,187 £379

Table notes: Prices are based on a dual fuel tariff, averaged across UK regions, for a household with average consumption (using 3,100kWh of electricity and 12,500kWh of gas a year), paying by direct debit. Exact prices can vary according to region, usage and payment method. Prices have been rounded up and are correct at 18 March 2017.

Other tariffs ending this month that will increase your annual bill by less than £200 are: Flow Energy Connect 5 – Paperless, M&S Energy Fix & More Jun 17 (paperless billing) – Paperless, Npower Home Safe Fix March 2017 – Paper and Paperless, Npower In Control March 2017 – Paperless, Npower Price Fix March 2017 – Paper and Paperless, Npower Price Protector March 2017 – Paper and Paperless, and Spark Energy Tenant Saver (Fixed) March 2017 – Paper and Paperless.

Tariffs ending that will actually reduce the cost of your bill (albeit by £88 or less over a year) are: LoCO2 Pocket Fixed March 2017, Co-operative Energy Fixed to March 2017 – Paperless, EDF Energy Blue+Price Freeeeze March 2017 – Paperless, EDF Energy Blue+Fixed Prepay March 2017, Sainsbury’s Energy Fix and Reward March 2017 – Paper and Paperless, and SSE Fixed Price March 17 – Paperless.

Cheapest energy deals for March 2017

The start of 2017 has seen energy firms raising their prices, often citing that wholesale gas and electricity prices are rising steeply. This means energy firms’ costs are 18% higher than they were in January 2016, according to energy regulator Ofgem.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t gas and electricity deals that can save you money, or at least keep your bills in check if wholesale costs continue to climb. It’s predicted they will keep rising towards 2030, taking the average dual fuel energy bill to around £1,350 per year, according to a report from the Committee on Climate Change published earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the government will outline its plans to crack down on high energy prices ‘very soon’, following Thursday’s debate on the Big Six energy companies’ prices. Theresa May said energy prices have risen by 158% over the past 15 years and added: ‘The vast majority of consumers, especially those with the lowest incomes, are on the most expensive tariffs. Relying on switching alone to keep prices down is clearly not working.’

Top five cheapest energy deals

The top five cheapest UK-wide dual fuel energy tariffs are all more than £150 cheaper than any of the Big Six firms’ standard tariffs this month:

Compare and switch suppliers

Choose the fuel type
to compare:

Gas and electricity Electricity
only
Gas only

  1. £834 Iresa Flex4 12month Fixed Direct Debit – Paperless
  2. £843 Economy Energy Direct Saver 2017 (v3) – Paperless
  3. £861 Affect Energy Fixed Until March 2018 v2 – Paperless
  4. £877 Avro Energy Simple and Spring – Paperless
  5. £880 Tonik Energy Positive Energy v2 – Paperless

If your fixed tariff is ending this month, you cannot be charged an exit fee to switch. Exit fees do not apply in the last 49 days of your tariff. If you’re on a standard tariff, you can switch at any time without paying a penalty.

(Prices shown above are provided by Energylinx, based on the details of a dual fuel medium user who uses 13,500kWh gas and 3,100kWh electricity per year, pays by monthly direct debit and chooses paperless billing. Prices are averaged across all UK regions and correct as of 16 March 2017.)

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