First:Utility’s new best-buy tariff could save households £370 a year

6th November 2014

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Household energy provider First:Utility has thrown down the gauntlet and launched a new short fixed tariff which could save a typical customer £370 a year.

The new deal has jumped straight to the top of the best buy tables. Elsewhere OVO Energy unveiled its own salvo with its Better Energy Fixed (Online) tariff to take the runner up slot in the list of best short term fixes.

The First:Utility iSave Fixed v37 March 2016 is a paperless billing tariff and will cost the average householder £960.49 a year. This tariff could save an average customer £370 a year compared to the typical tariff cost of £1,330 calculated by Ofgem. Customers can choose to pay an extra £24 a year to receive paper bills.

Prices will be fixed until 31 March 2016 and there is a cancellation fee of £30 per fuel if customers leave this tariff after the supply start date and 49 days prior to the tariff end date.

OVO Energy’s Better Energy Fixed (Online) tariff is a 12 month fix and will cost the average householder £973.00 a year with a £30 per fuel early cancellation fee.

First:Utility have also released a longer term tariff called the iControl Fixed v38 January 2018. This is also a paperless tariff costing an average householder £1169.49 a year. Prices are fixed until the 31 of January 2018 but it does carry a hefty £50 per fuel early cancellation fee and customers can again choose to pay £24 a year extra to receive paper bills.

Top ten cheapest dual fuel tariffs including short fixes

Supplier Tariff Annual cost Early exit fees
First Utility iSave Fixed v37 March 2016 £960 £30 per fuel
OVO Energy Better Energy Fixed (Online) £973 £30 per fuel
Extra Energy Fresh Fixed Price Dec 2015 v1 £974 £25 per fuel
 E.on Fixed 1 Year v12 £975 £5 per fuel
Npower Online Price Fix November 2015 £1,000 none
Green Star Energy Rate Saver 12 Month Fixed 1410 paperless £1,004 £30 per fuel
Sainsbury’s Energy Fixed Price November 2015 £1,005 £30 per fuel
Extra Energy Bright Fixed Price Nov 2015 v1 £1,014 £25 per fuel
Cooperative Energy Fair and Square December 2015 £1,017 £25 per fuel
SSE Direct £1,029 £30 per fuel

*Based on dual fuel, payment by monthly direct debit, averaged across all UK regions and for households with an annual energy usage of 13,500kWh gas and 3,200kWh electricity (medium user). Correct as of 06/11/2014.

Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com said: “This is more good news for householders. This time last year energy price rises were coming thick and fast but in the last week we’ve seen some great new short term fixed tariffs from OVO, E.ON, Extra Energy and now First:Utilty all of which will give customers protection from price increases throughout this winter at least.

“First:Utility’s longer term fixed tariff, the iControl Fixed v38 January 2018, gives consumers greater surety of their bills for the next 3 years but as it costs on average over £200 a year more than the new iSave tariff, customers choosing the iControl will be betting on there being some substantial price rises to come.”

With older tariffs coming to an end each month Cryer urged that it’s important to compare the new deals available to ensure consumers remain on a competitive tariff that’s suitable for their needs.

He added: “Although many fixed tariffs have early exit fees Ofgem has made sure that customers on soon-to-expire fixed tariffs can shop around without being penalised. Under these rules, once you receive notification from your supplier of your fixed tariff coming to an end – typically 42 to 49 days before it’s due to finish – you can switch without being charged an exit fee. That may seem like a long notice period, but it can take that long to complete the switch to a new supplier, so acting quickly will help ensure you don’t pay more than you need to for longer than is necessary.”

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