Households set for Halloween fright as energy costs could rise by up to £205

16th October 2014

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Customers across 12 fixed tariff energy deals could see their bills rise by an average of 10% when their contracts come to a close this month.

Suppliers with tariffs expiring at the end of the month include British Gas, Npower, Sainsbury’s Energy, iSupplyEnergy and Scottish Power.

Eight of the deals, which expire on 31 October come from the latter group, and consumers who have not taken action and shopped around for a new energy tariff could see their annual bill rise by 10% – or £104 – warned switching site Gocompare.

But those who are currently on Npower’s Online Price Fix October 2014, and live in Yorkshire, could see the largest average bill increase of £205.01, or 20.67%.

However some households in southern Scotland, who are customers of ScottishPower and on the supplier’s Platinum Fixed Energy November 2014 NSC (No Standing Charge) tariff, could actually see their annual bill decrease by £8.97 when their fixed deal ends.

But Gocompare added that across the UK, consumers on this tariff will still be in for an average increase of £20.07, so no-one should simply allow themselves to be rolled onto ScottishPower’s standard tariff, as they may be able to save more by shopping around and switching.

Impact of tariffs coming to an end on Friday 31 October 2014 (based on a medium user – 3,200 kWh of electricity and 13,500 kWh of gas per year – paying by monthly direct debit and averaged across all UK regions):

Supplier Tariff coming to an end Dual fuel? Annualcost Annual cost of standard tariff Difference(£ and %)
British Gas Fixed Price October 2014 Yes £1,066.12 £1,192.97 +£126.85(+11.9%)
Sainsbury’s Energy Fixed Price October 2014 Yes £1,066.12 £1,192.97 +£126.85(+11.9%)
Npower Online Price Fix October 2014 Yes £1,051.67 £1,204.91 +£153.25(+14.57%)
Scottish Power Platinum Fixed Energy November 2014 NSC Yes £1,179.05 £1,199.12 +£20.07(+1.7%)
Scottish Power Platinum Fixed Energy November 2014 Online NSC Yes £1,163.30 £1,199.12 +£35.82(+3.08%)
Scottish Power Fixed Price Energy November 2014 Yes £1,052.96 £1,199.12 +£146.16(+13.88%)
Scottish Power Fixed Price Energy November 2014 NSC Yes £1,052.95 £1,199.12 +£146.17(+13.88%)
Scottish Power Fixed Price Energy November 2014 Online Yes £1,037.21 £1,199.12 +£161.91(+15.61%)
Scottish Power Fixed Price Energy November 2014 Online NSC Yes £1,037.20 £1,199.12 +£161.92(+15.61%)
Scottish Power Unifi Fixed Energy November 2014 Yes £1,144.21 £1,199.12 +£54.70(+4.78%)
Scottish Power Unifi Fixed Energy November 2014 Online Yes £1,133.91 £1,199.12 +£65.20(5.75%)
iSupplyEnergy iFix (pre 11 Oct 2013) No (elec only) £455.29 £510.04 +£54.75(+12.03%)

Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare said: “Ten of the dozen tariffs that are due to come to an end on 31 October come from ‘big six’ suppliers, so it’s fair to assume that many households could be affected. And with average bill hikes of well above £100 imminent, it’s time for people on these tariffs to shop around for a better deal, if they haven’t done so already.

“With summer behind us and darker, colder months looming, we’re entering into the peak energy use time of year, so it’s important that householders review their tariffs and compare the other deals available to ensure they’re on a competitive tariff that’s suitable for their needs.”

While many fixed tariffs have early exit fees, which can be as high as £30 per fuel, Ofgem has made sure that customers on soon-to-expire fixed tariffs can shop around without being penalised.

Cryer added: “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.

“Inaction can be expensive as energy suppliers’ standard tariffs are often the worst option if value for money is what you’re after. And with some good fixed options available at the moment that can provide surety when it comes to prices for a set period of time, now’s a good time to shop around, compare tariffs and switch to a better deal.”

Top 10 cheapest dual fuel tariffs

Supplier Tariff Average annual cost Early exit fees
extraenergy Fresh Fixed Price Nov 2015 v2 £984 £25 per fuel
first:utility iSave Fixed v33 November 2015 £992 £30 per fuel
Ovo Better Energy Fixed (Online) £998 £30 per fuel
Green Star Energy Rate Saver 12 Month Fixed 1410 Paperless £1,004 £30 per fuel
Sainsbury’s Energy Fixed Price October 2015 £1,009 £30 per fuel
extraenergy Bright Fixed Price Nov 2015 v1 £1,014 £25 per fuel
Cooperative Energy Fair & Square October 2015 £1,026 £25 per fuel
SSE Direct £1,029 £30 per fuel
extraenergy Secure Long Term Fixed Price Sept 2016 v1 £1,038 £25 per fuel
EDF Blue+ Price Promise March 2016 £1,039 None

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 16/10/2014.

 

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