13th January 2016
Households could be hit with an energy bill hike of more than £250 when a host of fixed rate deals expire at the end of this month with the UK facing freezing conditions.
GoCompare.com, the comparison website says that 26 deals are due to end on January 31 and it urges customers to switch now for a better rate.
Extra Energy customers on the Fresh Fixed Price Jan 2016 v10 tariff can expect to see the biggest average annual rise of £258.26 (29.64%) to their annual energy bills if they are rolled onto the supplier’s Variable Price v1 standard tariff at the end of the month, it says.
However, not all tariffs ending in January will result in a price increase. Those on M&S Energy’s Fix & More Jan 16 Paperless Billing and Fix & More Jan 16 Paper Billing tariffs, the iSave Fixed v10 January 2016 tariff from First: Utility and Scottish Power’s Fixed Price Energy February 2016 Online will see their bills fall slightly when their tariffs expire on 31 January. This is because the suppliers’ standard variable tariffs are cheaper than the fixed deal they are currently on. However, these customers can only expect to save between £4.22 to £29.30 depending on their provider, which is paltry compared to the hundreds of pounds they could save by shopping around for a new deal.
Ben Wilson, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com, says: “The recent slew of cold, wet weather has sent many of us reaching for our thermostats. With some families still paying off Christmas, the last thing people should be doing is unnecessarily paying more for their energy.
“There are some really competitive energy available at the moment so you could be doing yourself a disservice if you let your supplier roll you onto their standard variable tariff without shopping around first.”
Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, adds: “Fixed energy tariffs are often hundreds of pounds cheaper than standard variable plans and protect consumers from price rises. However, when these deals end, customers can get a shock as prices usually jump when they’re rolled over to their supplier’s standard variable plan.
“If you’re on a fixed energy plan which ends this month, shop around now for a better deal to avoid a shock price rise. It’s worth noting that any early exit fees on your old plan no longer apply.
“Even if your fixed deal ended last month, it’s not too late to switch and cut your bills before this winter’s cold weather finally sets in.”
For customers who want to find the best alternative deals to switch onto when their current tariff ends, here is a table of the top ten rates on offer: