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Energy tariffs

What to do if your energy tariff is ending

Cheap energy tariffs don’t last forever – and if you stick with your provider, you could pay over the odds for energy. Stay on top of it with this guide

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 07 August 2020

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Energy tariff end-dates explained

If you choose a fixed-rate energy deal, the price you pay for each unit of gas and electricity is locked down for a set period – usually one or two years. These plans can save you a lot of money on energy, but they don’t last forever. Once you reach the end date of the tariff, you’ll automatically roll over onto your provider’s standard variable-rate deal, which will be more expensive.

Luckily, you don’t need to pay over the odds. By switching to a new fixed-rate deal, you can keep enjoying cheaper energy.

Thanks to Ofgem regulations, your provider can’t charge you any exit fees if you switch within 49 days of the end of your current tariff. That’s why it’s important to know when your tariff ends – if you miss the 49-day window you won’t just get a higher energy bill, you’ll be charged more to get out of it.

How do I find out when my energy tariff ends?

This year, over 100 cheap energy tariffs are ending. If you’ve been on your current plan for a while, yours is likely to be one of them. Here are the ways you can find out what the end date is for your tariff:

  • Find your most recent energy bill: Your end date will be provided in the section dedicated to your key information, which includes details such as your tariff name and your account number
  • Call your energy provider: Your supplier will be able to give you your end date over the phone. If you have your account number handy they will be able to locate your details quicker
  • You’ll receive an end of tariff notification: Energy suppliers have a legal obligation to notify account holders when their tariff is approaching its end. You’ll receive this 42 to 49 days before your tariff ends

What should I do when my fixed rate energy tariff ends?

When you approach the end of your energy tariff, you should start looking at other options. You can either switch to a new plan with your existing provider, or choose a new energy company once your tariff expires. Your provider will usually let you know about their other plans – but you might be able to find an even better deal if you shop around.

A good way to do this is to use a price comparison site like MoneySuperMarket. We compare energy prices from the UK’s leading providers so you can be sure you’ll always get the best possible deal.

Note that you might not be able to find a deal that’s cheaper than your current fixed rate tariff. Even so, you should still switch – any deal you find will always be cheaper than rolling onto a standard variable-rate tariff.

Switching to a new plan is easy. All of the UK’s major energy providers have signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which ensures you can switch in 21 days or less. If you’re with a smaller company, the switch might take a little longer – but whatever happens, there’ll be no interruption to your service and everything should be sorted out by your new supplier.

Just make sure you switch within 49 days of the end of your tariff, so you don’t get rolled over onto a more expensive plan.

You can read more in our guide to switching, which explains how quick and hassle-free the process is.

What happens if I don’t switch after my tariff end date?

If you don’t take any action when your fixed rate tariff ends, you’ll be automatically put on your provider’s standard variable rate plan. The government puts a cap on the amount your provider can charge, which means that the price for a typical customer is limited to £1,042 from October 2020.

However, keep in mind that the energy price cap limits energy prices, not energy bills – you could still pay more, depending on where you live, how much energy you use, and how you pay your bill.

It’s always cheaper to find a new deal than to stay on a standard variable rate plan, even with the price cap. Compare energy deals today and see how much you could save.

Can I switch energy providers before my tariff end date?

Yes – but you might have to pay a fee. If you find that there is a cheaper tariff on the market for you, be sure to factor in any fees your provider will charge you for leaving before your contract finishes. In most cases, it’s cheaper to wait until your tariff ends before switching.

Some of the most expensive exit fees can be in the region of £30 – £50, particularly if you are on a two-year fixed tariff. These costs can sometimes offset the savings you’re lined up to make by switching.

You can find out if your current energy tariff has exits fees by checking your energy bill or calling your energy provider.

What if my business energy tariff is ending? 

If you have a business energy contract, you can’t start comparing deals until your current deal enters its ‘switching window’ – this could be anything between one and six months before its end date. Because of the way commercial energy contracts are drawn up, you can’t actually switch until your current deal ends.

If you let your business energy deal end without switching or agreeing a new one with your supplier, you’ll either be placed on an expensive ‘out-of-contract’ rate or signed up for another year on an equally pricey ‘rollover’ contract. That’s why it’s important to compare deals and arrange a new commercial energy deal as soon as your current one enters its switching window.

To compare tariffs, give our energy experts a call now on 0800 088 6986.

Switch and save with Energy Monitor

Switching your energy supplier is quicker and easier with MoneySuperMarket’s Energy Monitor tool. You’ll never need to compare energy prices again – we’ll keep an eye on the prices and let you know as soon as there’s a cheaper tariff available. You just need to enter your details once, and then you can start effortlessly switching and saving money on your energy bill.

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