Energy tariffs with fixed or discounted prices for a set time are great, but when they end you should take quick action or end up out of pocket
When your tariff end date comes around it's important that you take action or you could end up being rolled on to a much more expensive gas and electricity plan. Compare the entire energy market now to see which new plan is best for you.
Plans ending soon
Energy tariffs come in all shapes and sizes, but fixed price plans have become increasingly popular, offering a guarantee on prices and peace of mind. ... That is, until the tariff end date!
Typically, upon your tariff's end, your supplier will roll you onto a more expensive tariff, often their 'standard' tariff with the highest rates. That means higher bills — unless you take action.
Some very popular fixed price plans will ending in the next few months. Use the handy table below to check when your plan's end date is.
EDF plans ending
British Gas plans ending
Plan End date Fix & Fall March 2014 31 March 2014 Fix & Fall March 2014 with EnergySmart 31 March 2014 Price Promise April 2014 1 April 2014 Price Promise April 2014 with EnergySmart 1 April 2014
npower plans ending
ScottishPower plans ending
First Utility plans ending
SSE plans ending
E.ON plans ending
My energy tariff is ending. When should I switch?
49 days before the end of your plan if it carries exit fees. If it doesn't have any exit fees, you can switch whenever you find a cheaper plan.
Your supplier should send you a letter between 42 and 49 days before your energy tariff is about to end. This letter should explain your options, including plans available and outline any exit fees.
Read this letter carefully - in some cases you could be automatically 'rolled-over' onto a new tariff unless you tell your supplier otherwise.
The tariff may be your supplier's 'standard' plan, an online plan or a fixed plan. This may not be right for you because:
- Standard plans are among the most expensive in the market
- The online plan you're given may not be the most competitive for you
- Online and fixed plans sometimes come with an exit fee that means you have to pay if you decide you want to switch
You don't have to wait for this letter to arrive before you start shopping around for better energy plans. If an exit fee applies to your current plan, uSwitch will be able to tell you if you are in the safe window to switch, or if you should wait another few weeks to switch to avoid a fee — we can even send a reminder of this 'safe to switch' date!
I've compared energy plans there's nothing cheaper - what should I do?
If your current tariff was very competitive at the time you signed up, you may find that there's nothing that's cheaper on the market at the moment.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't switch: your tariff is ending so you have to switch to a new one. Rather than looking for a big saving, look for a tariff that offers the lowest possible price.
What type of energy tariff should I switch to?
Finding a cheaper energy plan depends on a whole host of factors, ranging from where you live and what plan you are on, to the type of energy available in your property and your usage levels.
You should always consider looking at dual-fuel energy plans where both your gas and electricity come from the same supplier. This not only makes the billing process easier, but you will often get a better deal as suppliers are guaranteed more of your business.
If you're considering switching your gas and electricity, the cheapest plans are typically online tariffs available from various suppliers. The advantages of these plans include:
- cheaper rates due to lower administration costs for the suppliers,
- extra discounts,
- accounts can be easily managed online, although some do still offer paper billing if you prefer,
- meter readings can be submitted online for more accurate billing.
Besides online tariffs, you should also look out for further fixed tariff plans. The energy market is constantly changing, but if you feel there is a good chance energy prices will go up in future you can hedge your bets with another fixed plan.
While fixed energy plans are often more expensive than the cheapest variable plans you should consider how much energy prices could go up by in a years time. If the extra cost of a fixed price plan is less than future increases you will still be better off, and youll have the peace of mind offered by a fixed price plan as well as fixed outgoings.
What else can you do to keep costs down?
Ensuring youre on the cheapest energy plan, or on a good value fixed term plan, is the only way you can get the most value for every kWh you use, but there are other ways to keep costs down.
While a cheaper plan will save you money, so will using less energy in the first place. Simple changes around the home like dropping your thermostat by just one degree or draught proofing your doors and windows can make a significant difference, but larger investments can also pay off.
Insulation is the first step to keeping your energy costs down. Loft insulation is the easiest and cheapest to install, and even if you have loft insulation you should check whether you have the right levels installed, but more costly wall and floor insulation can also be worth considering.