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Energy bills set to soar as fixed tariffs end

16th November 2017 Print
Energy bills set to soar as fixed tariffs end

New data from MoneySuperMarket, the UK’s leading price comparison site, today reveals that with 63 fixed energy deals expiring before the end of the year, hundreds of thousands of customers risk being rolled on to more expensive tariffs during the coldest part of winter, when energy usage is at its peak.

Providers with fixed tariffs finishing in November and December include four of the Big Six suppliers - Scottish Power, EDF, Npower and British Gas - as well as emerging suppliers First Utility, Engie and Sainsbury’s Energy. In total there are 32 fixed term deals expiring on the 30th November, with a further 31 on the last day of December.

Typically, when these tariffs end, providers will move customers on to a standard variable rate tariff, which is often their most expensive deal. As such, those affected could see bills rise by as much as £301.313.

For most of these households however, there is still time to switch to another fixed rate deal now, before their existing deal ends. The end-to-end switching process can take up to three weeks but is often quicker, so those on one of the 32 tariffs ending at the end of November will need to act quickly, otherwise they risk facing a period of inflated prices before their switch takes effect.

The majority of fixed tariffs include exit penalties, designed to deter people from switching during the term. However, market regulation means penalties cannot be charged within 45 days of the tariff end-date, so customers have over six weeks to switch, penalty-free, before their tariff expires.

Energy usage is also set to be particularly high this winter as Britain looks set for its coldest November and December since 2012/13, with the Met Office warning temperatures could drop below those in Moscow.

Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “At this time of year especially, with temperatures dropping and the thermostat creeping up every day, now is definitely not the time to be languishing on an expensive standard variable tariff, or inadvertently rolling onto one at the end of a fixed rate deal because you’ve done nothing.

“We all want to enjoy a warm house over Christmas, without paying over the odds for it, so anyone coming to the end of their fixed rate tariff needs to act now.

“Switching couldn’t be simpler – it literally takes five minutes online to secure yourself a competitive fixed rate deal, either with a big six or smaller supplier and there are savings of up to £250 to be made by doing so. So don’t wait – do it today!”

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Energy bills set to soar as fixed tariffs end