ScottishPower’s announcement yesterday that it is to introduce the cheapest energy tariff on the market was great news for households facing steep energy bills. Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch, said the announcement could spark a ‘price war':
“This could be the spark we need to ignite a price war. ScottishPower is the first of the big six to openly challenge EDF Energy’s position as the cheapest supplier.
“With the Olympics about to start, and EDF Energy’s prominent involvement as a sponsor, it will want to retain that crown so we may see a retaliatory move.
“If suppliers start to battle it out, consumers will benefit. Not only can they switch to a more competitive deal, but they can also enjoy the peace of mind offered by a fixed price plan at no extra cost.”
Energy bills in 2012 – The story so far
The introduction of the Online Energy Fixed November 2013 followed hot on the heels of National Grid’s announcement that energy bills are to rise by £11 a year until 2021 to pay for infrastructure upgrades.
Previously smaller supplier First Utility pulled the market-leading iSave Dual Fuel V10 and the iSave Fixed v2 September 2013 tariffs, and introduced a the iSave Dual Fuel V11 – over £100 dearer. One day later and OVO Energy is pulling price down, announcing a 4.5% price cut for new customers making it the 5th cheapest provider on the market.
Below is our table of all the price changes for the last seven years, so you can see how your supplier’s prices have gone up and when they have gone down.
|Supplier||Date effective||Average gas price change (%)||Average electricity price change (%)|
|29/06/2012||– 4.4%||– 4.8%|
What can you do?
Stay informed: Getting the best deal means knowing when to act, so staying informed is half the battle. Get the uSwitch newsletter for the latest announcements, including warning whenever fixed or discounted rates are coming to an end.
Check the cheapest: Run an energy comparison. Checking you’re on the cheapest plan takes 5 minutes, for the best results grab your latest energy bill and pop in your usage in kWh.
Energy-saving: Even if bills are heading up over time there are plenty of quick and cheap investments you can make to slash your bills. Our favourite at the moment is insulation, with savings of up to £175 a year for loft insulation alone. Quick and easy/