publication date: Oct 20, 2012
author/source: Dean Dunham
As we turn on our heating
after the summer we should start to consider energy prices
. Here are the key facts
that you need to know:
Is my bill going to increase?
If you are not on a
fixed tariff the answer is almost certainly yes. Most of the energy companies have therefore
announced rises, most notably:
SSE - 9 per cent
- Npower - 9 per cent
- British Gas - 6 per cenet
- Scot Power - 7 per cent
If you are an EDF
or Eon customer
do not be complacent; whilst neither of these providers
yet, I am fairly certain that they will. Energy companies
work on the domino effect,
once one goes they the rest always follow!What can I do?
Firstly don't panic
about the price increases
as it is a competitive market and there is usually a
out there. In this respect if you are prepared to "fix
" your deal
you will get a better price
, usually saving around £200+ per year.
To find out what
deal is best for you
go through one of the energy price comparison
There are several sites on the market which are easy to find.
Are there any catches to fixing a
The biggest catch
with fixing a deal is the exit fee
. This means that
if you leave the deal before the end of the fixed period
you have to pay a
. However, not all fixed deals
have an exit fee
and even where there
is an exit fee
it does not mean that it will be a bad deal for you. To
determine whether a deal is good you
simply need to consider whether the
that you will make on the reduced bills
will outweigh the exit fee
you decide to exit early in the future.
Are there any
good deals at the moment?
There are lots of good deals
on the market. The best that I have seen
in the last week
I'm on a prepayment (key) meter, can I still
- Cheapest fixed deal with an exit fee: First Utility,
but it has £60 (dual fuel) exit fee.
- Cheapest no exit fee fix – Scottish Power costs more but lets
you leave penalty-free.
- Deals offered by the energy providers
change daily so I would advise that you search the comparison sites.
Yes, though there are no competitive fixes for prepay customers
. Yet as
typical prepay costs
are up to £1,400 per year and the cheapest deal's
you can still save
a significant amount of money.
debt/credit, can I still move supplier?
If you are in
here will be no problem switching. At present, if you are in debt on
you can only switch if your debt is less than £200
- from 1
this rises to £500
Should I wait to see what happens
with new Energy Bill
At the moment we do not know exactly how consumers
will benefit from the
and therefore how it will work. If you want to be totally risk
try to fix a deal now where you do not have an exit fee
, that way if
the Energy Bill
shocks us all and ends up actually benefitting consumers
can still take advantage of what it has to offer.
we are campaigning for everyone to consider the elderly this
, particularly those who cannot afford increasing energy prices
. As I
have explained switching to a cheaper deal
is really easy but unfortunately
this means surfing the internet,
which is something that many elderly people
simply do not know how to do. If you know an elderly person in this position
please help them to switch.
information on energy prices and switching suppliers log on to Dean's website