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Fixed-price energy deals

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What are fixed-price energy tariffs?

Fixed-price energy tariffs are the best way to lock your energy bills down for one or two years. You can use a fixed-rate energy deal to make sure you’re not at the mercy of a fluctuating market if the price per unit looks like it'll go up.

Fixed-rate deals usually last between 12 and 24 months, but they don’t mean your bill will be the same each month. You lock down the price you pay per unit, but not how many units you consume. The more energy you use in a month, the more you’ll pay – the same as ever.

The other main type of energy deal is the standard variable-rate tariff. These allow for market changes, so a surge in global energy prices can mean higher bills than expected – but if the prices fall, you’ll be paying less.

fixed price tariff illustration

What are the pros of fixed-price energy tariffs?

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    Cheaper than variable-rate tariffs (usually)

    Fixed-rate tariffs are often cheaper than variable-rate deals, though you may pay a premium for the security of signing a longer deal at a set rate

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    Protect yourself from price hikes

    Oil and gas prices can spin on a dime, but they can be very attractive indeed when they’re low. Fixed tariffs let you take advantage of favourable market conditions

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    Control your monthly spend

    Because you know how much each unit will cost, you can take control of your bills. If you end up with an expensive month, you’ll know you need to cut back on usage

What are the cons of fixed-price energy tariffs?

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    Locked-in pricing in a falling market

    The flipside to being protected from price hikes is that you won’t benefit if energy costs come down on global markets, as your unit price won’t change

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    Exit fees if you change your mind

    You might face exit fees if you decide to switch before the end of your contract. Not all fixed tariffs have them, but those that do will charge between around £10 to £30 per fuel

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    You need to act before the deal ends

    If you do nothing when your fixed term comes to an end, you’ll more than likely be switched to your supplier’s standard variable-rate tariff – which will probably be quite expensive

Is it best to switch to a fixed energy deal?

Previously, fixed-rate energy tariffs were usually cheaper than standard variable ones.

However, in current market conditions, it's difficult to say whether switching to a fixed energy deal will save you money. This is because prices are still fluctuating, and being locked in a fixed rate might cause you to miss out on savings, should prices fall.

On the flip side, a fixed energy deal could protect you from any future price rises.

If you're currently on a fixed-rate tariff, it's likely to be cheaper than other fixed deals available right now. If you do happen to find a better deal, you may face exit fees if you switch before the end of your contract.

However, with wholesale prices dropping and the new Energy Price Cap in place, it's possible that suppliers will begin offering competitive fixed-rate tariffs once again.

woman and cat sitting next to radiator

Which is better? A fixed or variable energy rate?

Historically, fixed energy deals were typically cheaper than standard variable tariffs. However, due to the energy crisis, that hasn't been the case in recent years. If you're looking to cut your energy bills, you might be wondering whether a fixed-rate or standard variable tariff is better.

We go through what each type of deal offers below:

  • Fixed-rate tariffs

    • The price per energy unit is fixed for a set period of time, usually 12 to 24 months

    • You're protected from price hikes, but at the same time you could miss out on potential savings if prices fall

    • If you want to leave your contract early, you may need to pay exit fees

  • Standard variable energy tariffs

    • The price per unit of energy will change every month, depending on the wholesale price of energy

    • You're vulnerable to price rises, but you can also make savings should energy prices fall

    • More flexible, as you're not tied to a contract and you're free to change without paying any exit charges

Switching your gas supplier?

When switching is available, you can be with your new supplier within five working days with no interruption to your service. Everything is handled by your new provider, so all you need to do is compare energy prices and go.

  • It takes five minutes

    Pop in your postcode and tell us about your energy usage – using your most recent bill will give you the best results.

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    We’ll browse the market for deals and show you what you can get if you switch suppliers with us.

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Ashton Berkhauer

Our expert says


A fixed-price energy tariff can give you more certainty over what you might pay in energy costs, allowing you to get a better grasp of your household finances. It might also save you money when compared to standard variable tariffs, but do your research first. Fixing for two years could see you pay more than you have to if energy prices stabilise.

- Ashton Berkhauer, Home services and broadband expert

Fixed-rate tariffs ultimately depend on the conditions of the energy market – if wholesale prices are high, fixed deals will be less attractive. Generally speaking though, if market conditions are good and you shop around, a fixed-rate tariff will be better value than a variable-rate one.

When your fixed-rate agreement comes to an end, your supplier will probably switch you over to a standard variable-rate tariff, meaning your prices will no longer be fixed. And while variable tariffs can be good value, they’re often less economical than the fixed tariffs they replace. It’s always worth shopping around a month or two before your fixed tariff comes to an end.

If you’re on a fixed-term tariff, you might have to pay an exit fee if you switch – it depends on the tariff you have (you’ll find details on your supplier’s website, on your bill, or in your welcome pack). But even if you’re on a tariff that imposes exit fees, these cannot be charged if you’re within 49 days of the tariff’s end date.

Your provider will write to you when your tariff is coming to an end so that you have six weeks or so to find another tariff.

If you decide to switch earlier and your tariff imposes exit charges, you will have to pay for each fuel. So if the tariff has a £30 exit fee and you’re switching both gas and electricity, you’ll pay £60.

Exit fees vary according to the tariff, but it’s always important to make sure that the amount you save by switching is greater than the amount you pay in fees to your old supplier.

The amount you pay for your energy will depend how much you use. The prices you see quoted are based on average consumption as defined by Ofgem, the market regulator.

In normal circumstances, the cheapest tariff on the market will usually be a fixed-rate, fixed-term dual fuel (gas and electricity) deal, paid monthly by direct debit.

Note that it is the price per unit of energy that is fixed – the amount you pay will vary in line with your usage. 

With a variable rate tariff, the rate per unit can go up or down, leaving you vulnerable to price hikes.

Variable rate deals are also known as ‘default’ tariffs. If you are on a fixed-term deal and do not switch at the end of the term, you will move to your supplier’s default tariff. If you haven’t switched for a few years, or ever, you’re likely to be on a default tariff.

Fixed-rate tariffs tend to be cheaper than variable rate alternatives, usually by a significant margin. According to Ofgem, the cheapest dual fuel tariff in June 2019 cost £873 a year, while the average price of dual fuel variable rate tariffs from the ‘big six’ energy suppliers was £1,254 – a difference of £381.

The energy price cap is calculated and set by Ofgem, and is reviewed quarterly.

The latest price cap will come into force on 1st October 2023, providing some much-needed relief to household bills. Average energy bills for households on a dual-fuel standard variable tariff will be £1,923 – down from £2,074 previously.

Though bills are still higher than the pre-pandemic average, this continues a steady drop in energy prices for the first time in three years. This 7% drop from October's price cap follows the 17% fall from July's price cap.

However, the government's Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) has ended. Previously, the EPG helped to cap the average household's energy bill at £2,500. This protected customers from the worst price hikes (for example, the energy price cap peaked at £4,279 in January 2023). As the price cap is now lower than the EPG, the EPG is no longer necessary.

As a result, although energy bills will fall this autumn, it's likely that most people will pay more for their energy this winter than they did last winter. This is due to rates being cheaper, leading to the removal of the EPG.

It is possible to switch from a prepayment meter to a credit meter if you are not in debt to your current provider. You might have to go through a credit check.

Some suppliers charge a fee to change your meter, but there are plenty who don’t, so it’s worth shopping around for the best deal.

If you are unable to switch from your prepayment meter, you may be able to switch to a cheaper prepayment tariff. 

A quick price comparison will show you the suppliers that could save you money.

Due to unprecedented market conditions, switching hasn't been available for a while now. But switchable deals are likely to return soon. And when they do, we'll be here to help.

We help you compare prices from all the energy suppliers in the UK, so you can find the right deal for your needs. 

It only takes a few minutes to compare.  All you have to do is answer some simple questions, and we'll show you tariffs and offers from all the energy companies. 

In normal circumstances, we can help you switch to tariffs from most companies directly through MoneySuperMarket. Just click the green button, answer a few more questions, and you’re done.

If you’d prefer to talk to someone, you can call us on 0800 177 7087. We can answer any questions you might have, and even help you switch to a new deal over the phone.

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