EDF Energy today launched the longest fixed price energy deal on the market. The Blue + Price Freeeeze November 2016 tariff, allows consumers to pay fixed energy prices for more than three years. The plan will cost consumers £1,350 a year on average and will ensure they are immune to potential price hikes. The deal contains no cancellation fees.
Although this contract guarantees peace of mind it also highlights the rising cost of fixed price deals. Until today the longest available fixed price contract was npower’s Price Fix September 2016 contract, which is £32 a year cheaper. EDF Energy has also replaced its Blue + Price Promise February 2015 plan with the Blue + Price Promise September 2014, which is £18 a year more expensive and five months shorter.
Paying premium for security
Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Fixed price plans have increasingly dominated the best buy tables offering competitive prices, good guarantees and often no exit penalties. But with the premium to fix starting to creep back in, alarm bells are ringing and the decision to fix is starting to become more of a gamble for the cost-conscious consumer.
“It is now more important than ever that consumers heed this warning and ensure that they are looking into all options and moving to a tariff that best suits their needs. If they are willing to pay a premium for long-term price security then EDF Energy’s new offering could be the answer to their prayers. However, there are also a number of short and mid-term fixed price plans which offer the best of both worlds – security without the initial extra cost.”
More consumers turn to fixed price contracts
uSwitch research has shown that one in ten switchers selects a fixed price energy tariff. This underlines the impact of last winter’s price rises and general uncertainty in the energy market. In this context, although long term deals offer consumers protection from price hikes they do not always represent best value. Those willing to hedge their bets can find cheaper, shorter term, fixed price deals on the market.
Currently, the least expensive deal available is Flow Energy’s Thames Fixed Online Sept 2014, which costs £1,135 and represents a saving of £215 on the new EDF Energy plan. However it also includes a £30 cancellation fee.
The EDF Energy Blue + Price Promise September 2014 which also became available today, costs £1,210, a saving of £140 compared to its longer term counterpart. It does not include any cancellation fees.