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Cheapest energy deals for March 2020: is now the time to fix your tariff?

If coronavirus is going to see you spending more time at home, it might be time to review your energy tariff

Cheapest energy deals for March 2020: is now the time to fix your tariff?

Whether you’re going to be working from home or self-isolating, your energy bills are likely to go up. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose for your gas and electricity – switching supplier could save the average household £388 per year compared with the price cap.

If you like the certainty of knowing how much your energy will cost from month to month, you might want to consider a fixed tariff – the cheapest fixed deal we found at the beginning of March cost £791 per year for a medium energy user.

To balance savings with good customer service and accurate bills, look for a cheaper deal from a Which? Recommended Energy supplier. Our research revealed that you can save around £297 in a year with the cheapest fixed deal among them.

Keep reading to see the top five cheapest energy deals, the cheapest deals from the best energy suppliers or compare gas and electricity prices now using Which? Switch, our independent energy comparison website.

You can also phone us on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.

An energy monitor

Cheapest gas and electricity deals

Here we’ve listed the five cheapest energy tariffs on sale now, based on the cost over a year for a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity. Exactly how much your bills would be depends on how much energy your home uses.

Prices also vary by region, so your rates will be affected by where you live.

We’ve also calculated how much you’d save compared with the current price cap limiting how much suppliers can charge per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity and gas.

This is currently set at £1,179 per year for a medium user, but will change on 1 April to £1,162. So from next month savings may be less, as the maximum charges will be lower. But it also depends on whether companies launch new deals.

Top five cheapest gas and electricity deals

Four of the five cheapest deals this month are fixed for a year, so your prices will be set for the length of the deal. Two of these come with exit fees, though – so it will cost you £60 if you spot a deal you’d prefer and want to switch before the contract is up.

Variable deals don’t have exit fees, but the price can change if the firm decides to increase or decrease its prices – though you must get 30 days’ notice if it plans to do this.

People’s Energy’s tariff requires you to pay for two months’ energy use before it starts supplying you – so it’s a pricey start to cheaper rates.

Gulf Gas & Power customers can only contact it online by email. So it’s not the deal for you if you like the comfort of being able to phone your energy supplier.

What customers think of March’s cheapest energy firms

Three of this month’s five cheapest deals are from firms included in our latest energy companies satisfaction survey.

The People’s Energy Company scored highest, finishing in joint-fifth position of the 35 firms included. Avro Energy finished mid-table, while Outfox the Market finished in 19th position.

Gulf Gas & Power and Orbi Energy were too small to be included in this year’s survey.

Cheapest deals from Which? Recommended Provider energy firms

We’ve listed the cheapest deals from our three Which? Recommended Providers (WRPs) for energy. These firms come highly rated by their customers, and also passed our assessment of their procedures and practices, complaints handling and how long they take to respond to customers’ enquiries.

You won’t save quite as much as with the cheapest energy firms on the market, but you can be confident you’ll get top-notch service. Find out more about our criteria for recommending energy firms.

Top three cheapest deals from highly rated firms

So Energy is currently selling the cheapest deal among our three recommended energy firms. If you’re on a tariff at the level of the price cap, this will save you £297 per year (based on a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity). It takes ‘seasonal payments’, meaning that your direct debit will be higher in winter and lower in summer, but says you can choose equal monthly payments year-round instead.

Savings over a year are around £50 less with Octopus Energy’s cheapest tariff. This year’s highest-scoring WRP, Octopus Energy was one of just two firms to achieve a five-star rating for how it handles complaints.

Some £30 more expensive per year again is Pure Planet’s 100% green paperless tariff. It’s a variable-rate tariff, costing £217 less than the price cap per year at present.

See the full results of our annual energy companies satisfaction survey, including other highly rated energy firms.

Which? Energy pricing research

Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff available in the regions stated, paying by fixed monthly direct debit, with paperless bills.

Energy use is based on Ofgem’s annual average figures for a medium user (12,000kWh gas and 3,100kWh electricity per year).

Data is from Energylinx. Price given are averages across regions, rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 5 March 2020.

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