With consumers getting increasingly irritated by the failure of energy providers to drop their prices to reflect cheaper wholesale costs, Big Six supplier Eon finally broke ranks by launching a fantastic fixed-rate deal.
At less than £770 a year for a typical household, its new fixed-rate gas and electricity ‘dual fuel’ tariff blows most of the other Big Six companies – British Gas, nPower, Scottish Power and EDF – out of the water.
Only SSE has thus far shown its stomach for the fight with a fresh deal of its own – priced at £775, again for average consumption levels.
As far as standard tariff prices (as opposed to fixed-rate deals) are concerned, the Big Six - British Gas, EDF, Eon, SSE, Scottish Power and nPower - have announced cuts, but only to their gas prices.
Eon cut the average cost of gas by 5.1% from February 1. SSE announced an average 5.3% gas price cut to take effect from March 29, while Scottish Power will cut the average price of gas by 5.4% from March 15. NPower is trimming gas bills by an average of 5.2% from March 28, while British Gas is cutting gas bills by 5.1% from March 16. EDF is cutting gas bills by 5% from March 24.
The typical saving on standard tariffs with cuts of this size is a little over £30 a year.
Even when these cuts are taken into account, standard dual fuel tariffs will still be around £300 more expensive than the latest fixed-rate deals.
To get the best price on fixed deals such as this, you have to agree to pay monthly by direct debit. You may also have to pay exit fees if you want to move to a different tariff before the fixed term ends.
Switch now and save £300 a year!
Many customers prefer the familiarity of a Big Six brand name, but the cheapest deal at the moment – and it’s the cheapest for almost five years – actually comes from one of the smaller suppliers.
Extra Energy is offering a 12-month fix at £768.31 a year, again for typical usage. All energy suppliers are closely regulated, so there is no reason not to take advantage of their competitive prices.
If you are on your supplier’s standard tariff, prices at this sort of level make switching a no-brainer if you want to keep warm for less this winter.
Stephen Murray, our energy expert, said: “These low prices are what consumers deserve in view of the sharp falls seen in wholesale gas prices over the last year.
“There are savings of more than £300 out there for anyone currently on a standard tariff, so customers should be switching now, while the weather is still cold and heating is on full pelt.”
The market regulator, Ofgem, is urging people to get savvy and switch to cheaper energy deals.