First Utility claims lowest energy tariff

First Utility, one of the main energy providers outside the market’s ‘Big Six’ firms, has thrown down the gauntlet to its larger rivals with its latest iSave tariff.

The firm says its iSave Fixed August 2015 plan will be the cheapest fixed tariff on the market, coming in a £992.48 a year for dual fuel customers on average consumption levels.

A ‘fixed’ tariff is one where the price per unit of fuel used is guaranteed not to rise during the term. So if your consumption remains the same, so will your bill.

The new First Utility 15-month plan replaces its one-year iSave Fixed July 2015 tariff, which was priced at £994 for typical dual fuel customers. The August 2015 tariff is available to new and existing customers.

It comes with a £30-per-fuel-type exit penalty for anyone looking to switch to another product before the end of the deal (the penalty is not charged within 49 days of the tariff end date).

Hike from Ovo

OVO, another firm outside the established Big Six of British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE, is moving its prices in the opposite direction.

The firm has announced an increase of 3% for its fixed rate tariff for new customers. This won’t affect customers already on the tariff until they come to renew the deal.

But Ovo points out that, even after this price increase is factored in, its prices for renewing customers will still be cheaper than they were in May 2013. The firm has cut its prices five times in the past year.

The 3% price hike is blamed on a rise in wholesale energy prices and increased distribution costs.

Following the increase, Ovo’s price for a dual fuel customer on typical average consumption will be £1028, putting it fourth in our table of top deals (see below).

Centrica, parent company of British Gas, has pledged not to increase prices this year unless compelling external factors come into place. SSE is committed to holding prices until 2016.

Switch to save

Clare Francis, editor in chief at MoneySuperMarket, said: “The energy tariff best buy table is still dominated by the smaller suppliers offering low priced fixed deals; so now is a good time to shop around and find the best value tariff for your region and usage. Switching to a fixed deal like these is the best way to avoid being stung by future price hikes if they strike.

“As we head towards summer, energy bills will be pushed to the back of the mind for many people because of warmer weather and using less energy for lighting. However, prices are low at the moment and might not continue to be given we’ve had increases from some suppliers in recent weeks. By failing to act now you run the additional risk of forgetting to switch before the cold winter months kick in and usage soars again.”

Top 10 energy deals

  Provider  Tariff   Average Bill Value
 1  First-utility  iSave Fixed August 2015 (v23)  £992.48
 2  Extra Energy  Fixed Price September 2015 v4  £1,001.93
 3  Flow Energy  Thames Online Fixed September 2015   £1,010.08 
 4  Ovo  Cheaper Energy Fixed (NOTE - Not Scottish Hydro)   £1,028.00
 5  Green Star Energy   Fixed 12 version 1405  £1,033.93
 6  EDF  Blue + Price Promise August 2015   £1,048.77 
 7  Ovo  Greener Energy Fixed Online (NOTE - Not Scottish Hydro)  £1,053.92 
 8  Ovo   Better Energy Fixed (NOTE - Not Scottish Hydro)   £1,058.09
 9  Woodland Trust Energy  Better Energy (NOTE - Not Scottish Hydro)  £1,058.09
 10  First-utility  iSave Fixed v21 September 2016  £1,069.90

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

* 51% could save at least £174, MoneySuperMarket Data, Dec 2013

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