Just one day after npower announced its ‘family’ of fixed price plans — including the market’s longest fixed price plan that locked rates until December 2014 — ScottishPower steps up to offer a fixed rate that doesn’t expire until end of January 2016.
The plan, Fixed Price Energy February 2016, costs the average medium user £1,301 a year. This is £4 cheaper than — the now — second-longest fixed price plan, npower’s Price Fix December 2015.
“The fact that suppliers are now tripping over themselves to offer competitively priced, long-term fixed price plans is good news for those consumers looking for shelter from potential price hikes,” stated Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.
Fixed price, for the win
The news comes as some very good fixed price plans come to end, and consumers begin to look for the next great deal on their energy bill. The good news is, suppliers have no shortage of offerings for those seeking a fixed rate on their gas and electricity.
This is good news for consumers, and now is the time switch — even for those new to switching energy — advises Lyon:
“The really good news for those who have never switched before as they can snap up one of these new deals, protect themselves from price hikes and still be paying less than they are sitting on an old-fashioned and expensive standard plan. This makes fixing your energy prices a real win.”
Some die-hard comparison shoppers may wish tread slowly, as they weigh the premium cost of a fixed plan (compared to variable rate plans) against a future energy market. If energy prices don’t go up in the duration of the fixed rate, customers may end up spending more overall.
But Lyon thinks that many would prefer the peace of mind of a locked-in rate:
“Regular switchers have a bit more to mull over as there are some cheaper options available if you are prepared to take a chance with price hikes. However, with household budgets maxed out, I suspect that the lure of knowing what price you will be paying for the next few winters will prove too good to resist for many, so I would urge consumers to plan ahead and start shopping around now.”