British Gas, Co-operative Energy, EDF, First Utility, npower and ScottishPower are amongst the suppliers with popular fixed price contracts coming to an end over the next two months. Customers who do not take action may find themselves rolled over to a more expensive standard plan.
In some cases the new plan will see customers handed a £200+ per year increase on their original tariff. Those looking to avoid a price rise should review other energy contracts available.
Customers signed up to a fixed price plan can usually switch three weeks before the plan comes to an end without incurring a cancellation fee.
Who will be affected?
A total of 22 plans come to an end between the 31 July 2013 and the 30 September 2013. The average increase across each of these for customers who are automatically switched to a standard contract is £112 per year.
Of these the largest price increase will affect customers of EDF Energy’s Fixed Price 2013 plan, who will be switched to a tariff worth an additional £232 per year. Customers on EDF’s Blue + Price Promise September 2013 plan will see bills rise by an extra £197.
Other significant rises will affect customers of First Utility’s iSave Fixed v2 September 2013 plan, who will see an increase of £203 per annum and those signed up to ScottishPower’s Online Fixed Price Energy August 2013 who will rollover to a contract worth an extra £175.
Fixed price contracts for premium price stability
Research carried out by uSwitch.com has revealed that one tenth of people who change contract switch to a fixed price energy tariff. This rise in popularity reflects volatile energy prices as well as the impact of recent price rises.
Long lasting fixed price contracts shield consumers from increases in price but usually charge a premium which means they do not always guarantee best value. Those looking to avoid long term commitments can opt for cheaper, variable rates but will find themselves vulnerable to price hikes and should regularly compare plans.