Saturday, 18 August 2012

Should You Fix Your Energy Bills Now?

If you’ve never switched supplier before then you could save nearly £300 off your annual bill by switching gas and electricity provider, based on figures quoted across energy comparison sites.

However, if you’ve already switched then the savings are likely to be much smaller, maybe £50 a year, and often dependent on when you switch and how you pay your bill.

You can slash money off your bill by switching to an online tariff and paying by direct debit.

If you choose a fixed tariff then the cost of your energy will be locked in for a period of time, usually a year but sometimes two, before you can leave without paying a penalty.

Some experts think that households should always be looking at fixed price deals. Mark Todd, from Energyhelpline, said: The risk of a price rise is always a great prompt for people to fix. Where the difference is small and there is no cancellation fee, or a low cost to exit the tariff, then I would suggest that people always go for a fixed tariff.’

Scott Byrom, energy expert at said; ‘With a lot of uncertainty over the movement of energy prices I recommend getting on to good value fixed price energy product to safeguard from any increases to the cost of gas and electricity over the term of the deal.'

But if customers want to leave during this period then they are likely to have to pay a termination fee and this may cancel out any benefit of fixing in the first place.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at, says: ‘It’s important that consumers ensure that they sign up to the best deal for them and that they make sure they know about any exit fees before they sign on the dotted line.’

Deciding whether a fixed tariff is suitable for you is dependent on prices – if bills start to fall then you could end up paying more.

What is happening to prices?

In the past month, two of the big six energy suppliers, British Gas and E.ON have reported that their profits had risen by nearly a quarter in the first six months of the year.

The news does nothing to help their financially squeezed customers who have seen energy bills more than double in the last ten years.

Meanwhile wholesale prices have been falling and this has put pressure on energy firms to follow with price cuts.

full article

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