Brits set for nasty energy bill shock this new year
The New Year could start with the arrival of a hefty winter energy bill warns MoneySupermarket.com.
Analysis from the comparison site found homeowners use around 40 per cent of their annual energy consumption during the winter months. Customers on standard tariffs could therefore face a gobsmacking bill of £514 next month - a wallet-busting blow for any household following an expensive festive season. Consumers can take action to offset the cost of fuel bills by swapping to the best available online deal (paying by monthly direct debit) to make an annual saving of £199, or 16 per cent.
Scott Byrom, utilities manager at MoneySupermarket.com said: "The start of a New Year is an expensive time as consumers deal with a festive financial hangover - a huge energy bill will come as an additional nasty shock.
"With the cost of gas increasing by 17.4 per cent and electricity up by 10.8 per cent following recent price rises, many will struggle to cope with the crippling costs of energy this winter. Those languishing on their provider's standard deal should take action."
As 2011 ends, so do some fixed energy deals!
Research also reveals some people on ‘fixed' energy deals need to beware that their deals could be coming to an end. According to MoneySupermarket.com, SaveOnline v4 from E.ON, Fixed Price 2012 from British Gas, and PriceSure Energy from Scottish Power are due to finish throughout January.
Scott Byrom continued: "Languishing on fixed deals could spell bad news for Brits when they expire. In the worse case scenario, providers could automatically switch customers across to a more expensive standard tariff. Shopping around could mean a saving of over £360 by swapping to the current market leading deal, however, in an ideal world, customers who have fixed deals expiring should look to switch at least six weeks before the termination date of the deal to avoid automatically being moved onto what could be a more expensive tariff.
"Time is of the essence when proactively looking for a new energy product. Move off your fixed rate too early and you could face termination fees of up to £75, but move too late and you might find yourself automatically moved to the standard deal or locked into a less attractive fixed deal which isn't competitive."
Scott Byrom concluded: "Furthermore, despite a fall in the price of wholesale gas, the market indicates we could see further price increases in April or May 2012, and early estimates indicate a hike of around ten per cent for both gas and electricity. Apathy won't be rewarded so getting on the best deal for you as soon as possible is crucial."