As two popular fixed-rate energy deals draw to a close, thousands of gas and electricity customers risk being left out of pocket if they don’t shop around.
Two popular fixed energy tariffs are ending, but there are plenty of deals out there for those who want to switch their energy supplier.
Today Which? reveals the five cheapest fixed energy deals on the market for those wanting protection from future price rises.
Want to see if you can save money on your energy bills? You can compare gas and electricity prices on Which? Switch to find the best deal for your home.
Fixed energy deals ending
Both EDF’s Blue+ Price Promise September 2013 and First Utility’s iSave Fixed v2 end on 30 September 2013. Households on these tariffs could see their bills rise if they don’t act soon.
The good news is the EDF tariff has no cancellation charges so customers are free to arrange their switch now. Those who do nothing will be rolled on to EDF’s standard tariff, which for an average customer paying by direct debit would be £197 more a year than they are currently paying at £1,251.
EDF also offers Blue+ Price Promise September 2014, which costs on average £1,209 a year. But that’s still £70 more expensive than the cheapest fixed deal, which is from M&S Energy.
Meanwhile the First Utility tariff does have a cancellation charge, but if customers switch in mid-September they should be able to avoid this as it takes between four and six weeks for the switch to take place. Find out more with our guide to switching supplier.
Top five cheapest fixed energy deals
The current top five cheapest fixed deals based on average consumption are:
- M&S Energy’s Fix & Save: £1,139
- Npower’s Online Price Fix October 2014: £1,181
- Scottish Power’s Online Fixed Price Energy November 2014: £1,195
- EDF Energy’s Blue +Price Promise September 2014: £1,209
- Eon Energy’s Fixed 1 Year (Online) v4: £1,211
These deals offer fixed rates for energy so are great for those wanting long-term peace of mind, but they can be up to 20% more expensive than variable tariffs.
Customers on fixed deals won’t benefit from any price cuts energy suppliers make during the period they have signed up for. And they need to watch out for exit fees (applied when leaving the deal before the set period ends). See our energy tariffs explained guide for more information.
Top five cheapest variable energy deals
Fixed deals don’t suit all householders, and some may prefer variable tariffs – which can be cheaper and offer more flexibility.
The cheapest variable energy tariffs based on average consumption are:
- First Utility’s iSave v16 (Dual Fuel): £1,155
- Npower’s Energy Online October 2014: £1,156
- Scottish Power’s Online Energy Saver 23: £1,170
- Sainsbury’s Energy’s Online October 2014: £1,172
- First Utility’s iSave v15 (Dual Fuel): £1,199
And for some customers, there are more important factors than just price. You can see how different energy firms were rated in our satisfaction survey.
Getting a fair deal
Earlier this week, energy regulator Ofgem announced that its new standards of conduct were coming into force. These are designed to ensure that energy suppliers treat consumers fairly.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘Improving the way suppliers deal with their customers is a step forward but Ofgem’s reforms to fix the broken energy market do not go far enough. Rising energy bills are consistently one of the top worries for consumers so the Government must step in to ensure trust in suppliers is rebuilt and prices are kept in check.
‘We want the Government to introduce simple pricing and ring-fence energy supply from generation businesses to increase confidence that there is effective competition in the energy market.’