The grim news is that prices are heading upwards. This is partly seasonal – we use more energy in the winter, so the cost tends to goes up – and partly to do with a long-term trend for price rises on international markets.
Rising wholesale prices claimed a major casualty in December when GB Energy collapsed (its business was taken over by Co-op Energy).
Other firms are keen to put their prices up, and increases are in the pipeline for customers on standard variable rate tariffs.
And fixed rate tariffs – where the price per unit of energy is locked in for the duration of the deal – are getting more expensive.
Switch and fix
That said, for most households, fixed rate deals are still considerably cheaper than variable tariffs, so it makes sense to switch to a cheap fix.
And if you’re on a fixed tariff at the moment, keep a close eye on when it’s due to end and make sure you move to another fix to avoid sliding onto your existing supplier’s standard variable rate.
You will not have to pay any exist penalties in the 42 days up to the end-date of your fixed tariff.
You can run an energy quote and fix your tariff here.
Here’s a run-down of what we know about price rises across the energy market:
The UK’s biggest provider is freezing standard variable tariff prices until March 2018. Its standard variable tariff for average consumption is £1,044 – still £40 more than its cheapest fixed deal.
EDF is cutting gas prices by 5.2% in January, but it will increase the cost of electricity by 8.4% from March. Typical dual fuel tariffs will pay 1.2% more over all, up to £1,082.
Freezing prices on their standard variable tariff until March 2017.
Eon is freezing its standard tariff prices for this winter.
We’ve yet to hear a pricing announcement from Npower.
We’ve yet to hear a pricing announcement from Scottish Power.
SSE is freezing its standard tariff prices until April 2017.
Announced two new tariffs: First Fixed September 2017 v3 Online First Fixed September 2017 v4 Full Service
Ovo has announced changes to its PAYM Simpler (variable) tariff, with an average increase of £50 per year. Customers who are only on gas tariffs will notice a decrease to their prices, and standing charges will be reduced for both gas and electricity.
We’ve yet to hear a pricing announcement from the Coop.
Extra Energy’s Fresh Fixed Price tariff will see an increase of more than 40%, an average increase of around £331.59 per year.