The first days of spring may bring warmer weather and turn people’s attention to the summer, but with the plummeting temperatures still fresh in consumers’ minds, thoughts should not stray too far from safeguarding against the cold, which will be rearing its head once autumn inevitably approaches.
Switching energy plans may be some distance from people’s minds with the sun shining through the clouds, but the coming weeks will see many energy providers bring their fixed price tariffs to an end, and customers switched on to standard plans, unless they take pre-emptive action.
End of an era
Over the next month, many of the most popular fixed price deals offered by the big six providers will be coming to an end, with ScottishPower’s Online Fixed Energy May 2013 plan the first to be abolished on April 30th.
May, meanwhile, will see npower’s popular Go Fix 11 plan finally come to an end, as well as another ScottishPower plan – the Online Fixed Price Energy April 2013 deal. Customers on the Go Fix 11 can expect a £214 increase in their bills as they are automatically moved on to the Go Save S plan.
Three further plans will come to and end on June 1st – the Fixed Price June 2013 deal from British Gas, and two E.ON plans – E.ON Fixed Price Saver June 2013 and Fixed Price Saver June 2013.
More price rises to come?
It is not only customers of the big six who will be affected by tariffs coming to an end, as First Utility, which has led the way for smaller energy suppliers over the last couple of years, this week announced that customers on its cheapest iSave v12 tariff will be automatically switched to the more expensive iSave Everyday tariff from June 1st.
First Utility’s announcement about price rises – and recent increases from fellow smaller suppliers Ovo Energy and Co-operative Energy – has led to speculation that the big six will follow suit in the coming weeks and months with price rises of their own.
This is set to be the fate for many consumers in the weeks ahead unless they take pre-emptive action to move to a new energy provider or different plan offered by their existing supplier.
In a bid to attract consumers who have previously switched plans to get the best deal, or generate interest among those switching for the first time, npower has launched a Fixed Family of plans that encompasses the cheapest and longest fixed price plans on the market.
The company first launched the Price Fix December 2015 deal, which locks consumers’ energy prices until December 31st 2015 and works out at £1,305 a year, and is currently cheaper than any of the standard cash and cheque plans offered by the big six.
This was followed by the launch of the Online Price Fix June 2014 and Online Price Fix December 2014 deals, which fix energy bills at £1,184 a year and £1,256 a year, respectively.
npower’s cheapest plan has superseded EDF’s Blue + Price Promise February 2015 as the lowest fixed price deal on the market, though EDF’s plan does lock rates for eight months longer than the npower alternative.
With the big six and smaller suppliers all bringing some of their most popular deals to an end in the coming weeks and months, and further gas and electricity price rises expected, an increasing number of consumers will be on the look-out for new fixed price plans that offer a safeguard against rising energy bills.