Fixed price energy tariffs have gained in popularity as prices rises continue to sky rocket and suppliers offer more and better tariffs that protect you against future price rises
So who has the best fixed price deal on the market right now? And how do fixed price plans work anyway? Find out in the uSwitch guide to fixed rate energy plans.
Fixed plans currently available
As more and more households discover the appeal of freezing their energy bills, suppliers respond by offering fixed rate deals that are more and more competitive. The table below highlights the cheapest fixed price plans currently available.
Price figures are based on a medium energy user and averaged across all regions. This table does not include advanced payment plans (tariffs that required payment before energy is used)
*This plan has a cancellation fee that applies if customers switch away before end of contract. Cancellation fee details will be included in your uSwitch energy comparison results.
What is a fixed price energy tariff?
Fixed price gas and electricity tariffs offer you the reassurance that the cost of your energy will not go up. Depending on the tariff, your prices could be fixed for anywhere between one and four years.
But, fixed price energy can also be more expensive than the cheapest online energy tariffs, and can come with cancellation fees if you decide you want to switch your tariff before the contract is due to end.
For these reasons, switching to a fixed price gas and electricity tariff can be a gamble - if energy prices rise you stand to make some big savings, but if they don't, you could end up paying over the odds.
Having said that, the latter months of 2013 saw a flurry of fixed price plans appear on the ‘best buy’ energy charts. These aim to strike a balance between the protection offered by a fixed price deal and offering competitive market rates. They often appeal to those looking for a long or short term solution to avoiding energy price rises.
What should I do when my fixed price plan ends?
When your fixed plan is about to end, the first thing to do is find out which plan your supplier will be moving you to. This may be your supplier's 'Standard' plan, although some suppliers may offer you the chance to fix your prices again.
Standard energy plans are among the most expensive in the market and there are usually cheaper plans available. If you're offered the chance to fix your prices again, you may wish to take it, if you are willing to pay above-average prices in return for security against potential price rises in the future.
Once you know what energy plan you're being moved to:
- compare all available energy plans online and find out how your new plan compares to other deals.
- switch your gas and electricity supplier if you find that you could be saving money with another energy supplier.
For an updated list of fixed price plans coming to an end in the coming weeks, visit our fixed rate plans guide and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Are fixed price plans always a good idea?
Fixed price energy tariffs can be a fantastic option, offering security at the very least, and fantastic savings when you pick the up at the right time.
However, as mentioned above, fixed energy deals are a gamble, very much like a fixed mortgage. However, rather than hedging your bets against interest rate rises, fixed energy prices allow you to bet on future energy price rises.
If you use our online tool to find a good fixed price tariff there is a good chance it will still cost slightly more than your current variable plan. However, even a slightly more expensive plan will pay for itself if your energy supplier puts up prices greater than the difference.
It is only in the event of prices remaining unchanged or dropping that you will lose out. The last price cuts came at the beginning of 2012.
How else can you control your energy prices
The simplest way to ensure your energy costs don’t go up, with or without a fixed price plan, is to control your usage. Whether prices go up or down, if you can reduce your usage you will always be in control.
The simplest changes can be made around the home. Checking for draughts around windows and doors is simple, and installing draught proofing is cheap and easy to do. It will also save you a lot of money, with an estimated 30% of heat in the home lost through draughts.
The most common culprits are around doors and windows, but you should also check floorboards, loft hatches and letterboxes.
Other simple changes include dropping the thermostat by just one degree, and checking your timers are accurately set up, particularly after the clocks go forward or backward.
Another way to cut your usage is to generate your own energy. Solar panels or wind turbines allow you to generate your own energy which you can then use, reducing your overall energy consumption. Better still, depending on certain criteria you might make back some money by selling the energy to the grid.
To learn more see our energy-saving guides.