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Brits should look to fixed price energy plans

As rumours of an energy price rise intensify, consumers are being advised to freeze energy prices with a fixed term energy deal

Energy suppliers are expected to increase prices by close to 10% in the run up to winter

Although fixed price plans have traditionally charged a relatively high premium, this year a range of fixed deals offer the best of both worlds: a competitive price for today, which can be locked in for more than three years.

These deals are particularly relevant as industry analysts recently predicted British Gas would raise prices by up to 10% between now and winter. Other suppliers are expected to follow suit.

Five of the big six suppliers have a fixed price deal as their overall most competitive tariff (see table below).

Best buy energy plans:

Supplier

Plan Name

Price

Spark Energy Advance 2* £1,116
First Utility iSave v16 £1,155**
Sainsbury’s energy Online October 2014 £1,172
npower Online Price Fix November 2014 £1,182
ScottishPower Online Fixed Price Energy November 2014 £1,195
EDF Energy Blue + Price Promise December 2014 £1,209
E.ON E.ON Energy Discount (with online reward) £1,209
Ovo Energy New Energy Fixed £1,226
Pioneer Energy Variable £1,238
British Gas Fixed Price October 2014 £1,245
The Co-operative Energy Pioneer £1,258
SSE 1year Fixed Price Plan (with paperless billing) £1,262

Source: uSwitch
Based on a medium user consuming 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas with bill sizes averaged across all regions.
* This plan is an advance payment tariff (payment is taken prior to consumption).
**First Utility’s fixed price iSave Fixed v9 April 2015 is not included as, at £1,170 a year, it is not First Utility’s cheapest or ‘best buy’ tariff.

Market leading options

Independent supplier, First Utility’s iSave Fixed v9 April 2015 plan is currently the cheapest on the market. The tariff costs the average user £1,170 per year, just £54 more than the cheapest overall deal and allows consumers to lock in prices until April 2015. This means those switching to this plan would offset the small premium if energy prices increase by 4.8%.

npower’s Online Price Fix November 2014 is the cheapest fixed price plan currently being offered by one of the big six energy suppliers, and costs £1,182 a year. This premium would be offset by a price rise of 6%.

Those looking for a longer term plan should consider npower’s Price Protector March 2017, which is the longest deal available on the market. Priced at £1,341 a year for the average consumer, it ensures prices are frozen for three and a half years and carries no early exit fees.

‘Longest fixed price tariff will future-proof your bills for over three years’

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, says: “The dice are loaded in favour of price hikes this winter, which makes the protection offered by fixed price energy tariffs even more attractive. Importantly, these tariffs are currently very competitive, which means that consumers don’t have to pay more for the security they provide. This is competition at its best.

“While most consumers are cost-conscious and therefore probably tempted to take the cheapest fixed price deal they can find, I would urge them to think longer-term too. The longest fixed price tariff will future-proof your bills for over three years. This means freezing your energy costs for three winters, giving you security and certainty in very uncertain times.

“The market isn’t perfect, but the range of attractive fixed price deals around at the moment demonstrates what a truly healthy competitive market could deliver for consumers if given the chance. This is why Ofgem’s reforms are so important – they are an opportunity to finally give consumers the market they need and deserve.”

Read more

Energy firms look to pre-empt Labour’s proposed freeze

 

  • John Arthurs

    Bizarre that third party policies can cost as much as or even more than fully comp. Apparently the online algorithms identify a request for a tp or tpft quote as representing a high risk applicant rather than someone seeking to insure a low value car.

    • ronthedog

      Far be it from me to defend what are often reprehensible business methods by insurance companies, but the premium isn’t just about the three hundred quid banger being covered, but also the Rolls-Royce or Ferrari it could possibly hit. Even running into the back of a forty grand family car, and those are plentiful on the roads nowadays, will incur a sizeable bill.

      • John Arthurs

        I think you miss the point.

    • Simesy Brakes

      The risks the insurers quantify policies by aren’t just to do with the vehicle or your driving. Going for TP or TPF&T might represent a moral risk with some insurers. Maybe they are thinking you are questionable for wanting to get a cheap quote regardless of cover? Don’t do it online, go and speak to a broker who will be able to advise better.

  • Andrew Hutcheson

    Our 17yo son just passed his test last Friday and is enjoying his 2008 Seat Ibiza 1.4. I have paid his insurance for the first year, which is an eye watering £1960 fully comp with a black box. The cheapest TPFT quote was £3200. I don’t get that at all??? One point to take note. I got the initial quote the week before, but had the start date incorrectly set as the 02 July so when I amended it on the morning he passed (30 June) the quote jumped £400. How can they justify that???!!! I was very, well, annoyed and had to use an alternative provider and ended up paying an extra £180. It’s just that first year. It will drop hundreds for next year, if he stays claim free.

    • Simesy Brakes

      I wouldn’t rely on it going down “hundreds” next year. Premiums change on a daily basis.

  • Will

    When I had my first car, I had my parents names on the policy to bring down the premium, don’t know if the same still works now, worth a try to help with those costs.

    • Gerwyn

      That’s illegal. It’s called “fronting” and is serious if caught. Usually when you make a claim.

      • Paul

        Not fronting, but adding drivers to the policy seems to share the load and does reduce premiums.

        I added my wife to my van policy expecting a premium

        increase but in fact it reduced the premium. Same with young drivers adding parents as named drivers with the young policy holder as main driver.

        • Gerwyn

          You’re right Paul, if it’s your van and you’re the main policy holder and driver then adding your wife is no problem.

          • Wilson

            Hi any chance I can get your wife on my policy to get a reduction🙏🙏

          • Gerwyn

            No problem, I’m divorcing her!

          • Wilson

            😂😂😂 my daughter was 17 in April and is sitting her test next week, we got her a car and insured it in her name main driver with a provisional license with both myself and my Mrs on the policy £522 for 05 Citroen C1, on the advice of the insurance company and when she passes the test get premiums will go up but only by an estimate 5-600££, that way it doesn’t feel like we’ve just paid over a thousand in one go also Her 1st year NBC will be due in April and not July next year so. Again this was on the advice of the insurance company to help reduce the overall cost

      • Nimh

        It’s not fronting to add someone as a named driver which it sounds like she was and it is legal and it does lower premiums

        • Gerwyn

          It boils down to who is the policy holder and who is the main driver. Fronting is when it’s Wills car but his parents insure it with Will as a named driver and Will is the main driver.

          • ronthedog

            That’s what everybody has been telling you, after you made an incorrect reading of the original post, so stop trying to pretend you were right all along.

      • Percy Parts

        Itso only illegal if the vehicle shows the parent as the primary driver. It’s actually RECOMMENDED by some companies to reduce costs for young drivers.

        It’s also mentioned on the mse website by none other than Martin Lewis!

      • Janice

        No it isn’t Gerwen – that is NOT fronting . We have a police officer in the family so I know the difference. – Fronting ” is indeed illegal but that is where someone takes out a policy on which the older driver is incorrectly declared to be the main driver and the younger one only a named driver when in fact it is the other way around – see http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/car-insurance/young-drivers for more info if you do not believe me

    • Waasifah Islam

      Heard of it the other way round.

    • Janice

      It does Will – having older experienced named additional drivers (NOT “fronting” which is having a parent down as the main driver not the young person) which is illegal , definitely reduces the premiums as it is deemed to reduce the risk. both myself and my husband are named drivers on my son’s insurance and it reduced the premiums by hundreds. Making sure the information you give an insurer is vital too – different occupations make a difference too – this year we discovered that his new status as “graduate seeking employment” is a lower risk category than when he was a “student”!

  • ethanedwards2002

    All very well but if one of these Millenials crashes into your car with no cover then you won’t be very pleased. Throw in a guaranteed criminal conviction for driving with no insurance.
    Good luck in the jobs market with a criminal record.
    That’s why you need to have cover.
    If you can’t afford it then get the bus. No excuse for stupid.

    • Lilith Wingett

      Have you tried getting a job without transport as a young person? Vicious circle, no job, no transport – no transport, no job – especially dangerous when you are living independently and the government will not help, and when the only affordable housing for young people is out of town, it’s even worse.

      • WOODY210363

        As the man said get the bus.When i was young we could not afford cars but still managed.

        • Janine Scarisbrick

          Guess you’ve never lived nr Bath then. Nearest affordable housing 8 miles out of city, buses start at 7.40am (50 minute journey), the only jobs available need you to start at 8am and be available Sundays. Work it out. Oh and I’m not young. My partner is 59 and is stuck in this impossible mess.

    • Andrew Knights

      no buses in my area, government cuts.

  • Dean Kavanagh

    3000.00 first car insurance on a car only worth 1000.00 rip off insurance companies screwing us all in one way or another.legalized theives.

  • Louis Ashby

    If you want people to stop driving with no insurance lower the insurance rstes and raise the fines £300 fine thats my insurance after 3 months

    • Simesy Brakes

      Who’s going to lower the insurance rates? There’s only two insurers who have made a profit on their private car books in the last decade (probably as much to do with spurious personal injury claims as much else, but at least the Government has tried to put legislation in place to allay that a little)

  • David Bennett

    Insurance is such a rip off. They load your premium even when it not your fault. The insurance should at least be related to the value of the car, at least they might be more people that could afford insurance

    • Janice

      Why David ? That doesn’t make any sense at all because insurance is there to cover the likely cost of paying for claims to third parties as well – not to just pay out the value of your car if it is written off or stolen.

      Unless you can guarantee that you will only ever damage your own car and never crash into another vehicle causing thousands of pounds of damage, why should a policy be cheaper for a 10 year old heap than for a newer car? as to no blame, for no fault accidents my 22 year old had someone reverse into the nearside of his car in a car park last year causing £1,500 of damage ( new door required) – there was no dispute that it was the other driver’s fault and has not affected his insurance as the other person’s insurance paid the repair bill direct to the repairers so his own company did not get involved and his no claims discount is unaffected
      .

  • Louis Vincent

    My first insurance quote on a 1.2L 2006 VW polo was around £530, I have been driving 6 years and never had a claim however my insurance increases every year and is now around £950??? It makes no sense, legal criminals…

    • Simesy Brakes

      When you first started driving the tax on Insurance was 6%. It is now 12%. That in itself would increase the initial price by £30. That said you are transferring the price of things in 2011 to 2017. Pretty much everything has gone up in the last 6 years.

  • Jackie Becker

    Stupid that it isn’t a legal requirement, as it is in France, to display an offical windscreen sticker indicating that the vehicle is insured and giving the renewal date.

  • Sunnie

    It’s just another step closer to The Mark Of The Beast where we have a chip that stores all our banking & medical information under our skin & without it we won’t be able to buy or sell. It’s already being used in some states in the US. Watch the channel called Jason A On You Tube he has many videos on the subject. Many people especially Christian’s won’t have it as the Bible clearly says you won’t get into Heaven if you have The Mark Of The Beast 666. Those people will just come together & trade & barter goods & services. Look at the results of the Vote below. The powers that be will have a battle on their hands trying to force a cashless society on a society that doesn’t want it.

  • Topaz Tschinnery

    Cash has served mankind well for thousands of years – now, greedy banks and plastic card companies want to do away with it and make even bigger profits by doing so!!! Well, 84.19% of people who have voted in this poll don’t agree with your avaricious plans, and doubtless this percentage would be reflected across the U/K if this poll was rolled out country-wise. So, Visa C.E.O. Al Kelly, and your greedy investors, crawl back under your stinking profit dripping stones, and wallow in the darkness of your wealth – because when your technology expires, which it surely will, both you and your fat cat cohorts will be stuffed up the creek without the proverbial paddle – and the silent majority will loudly applaud as your canoe plunges over the waterfall of gluttony and you all drown in your own vomit.

    • Sid King

      Well said Topaz,I could not put it better myself !

  • Suzanne Croft

    Visa, away with you ! This is about choice ! Why would I want to pay for my newspaper electonically. Why would I want to give my grandchildren holiday money on line ? This is still a democratic country and democracy means choice , so leave our cash alone !

  • John C

    Little by little, ‘they’ have been engineering the barriers to enslave the populace. Countries that don’t subscribe to their financial / monetary principles are listed as enemies. These countries have been destroyed or yet to be destroyed.

  • Jakki Wetherall

    Of course they don’t like cash because they make no money out of it! ALL card transactions generate a payment for the card provider so of course they would love to see cash go away. Money-grabbing b*stards! It won’t happen. Look how they tried to get rid of cheques recently & that didn’t go well! There’s so much still paid for by cash. I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

  • Christopher Booley

    The card payment technology is a very very long way from being perfect. I have experienced a large number of failures at the til, including false declined payments. People lose thier cards, leave it in a payment machine. Contactless card fraud is rife. Its very slow technology still. It causes delays and queues in shops, not everyone accepts card payments. There are just far too many weaknesses to eliminate cash

  • David

    What happens, like just the other day, when there is a computer hitch with a bank and credit/debit cards can’t be used? A cash and paperless society will collapse if something catastrophic happens and all financial records are erased. Who will owe who what? It’s not being a Ludite as we all know if something can go wrong it will go wrong, ask Murphy.

  • Liz Mole

    I prefer cards to cash until like now my debit card has broken down. Not keen on using credit cards for groceries and other everyday items.

  • Robert Sharratt

    cash is the biggest spreader of disease in the world, just imagine how many people have handled that £1 coin in your pocket!

  • Barry

    Topaz Tschinnery has echoed my feelings on this exactly. And its not just the bankers, its the political establishment as well. Governments around the world would love all digital money so they can control money supply. They can stop you saving and force you to spend by setting negative interest rates so you have to pay Banks interest on money held in your current or savings account, With paper money you could always withdraw your cash and keep it under the matress. With digital this is not an option – they have control of you hard earned money.

  • Jenny wren

    I use contactless payments wherever I can with my phone as it’s quick, easy and means I haven’t got to fumble around for coins or notes. However there are definitely times where cash is necessary…how about boot fairs? School fetes with cake stalls etc? How would we use contactless payments here? It wouldn’t be impossible to introduce a system where everyone can accept payments via their phone however I think that’s a long way off. I understand elderly people struggle at the moment but as our generation ages this problem will disappear.

    Also the black markets depend on cash and you would think the government would be very keen to help get rid of it however would there would be huge knock-on effect to the economy that we don’t understand if there were no black markets??

  • Ant Mrr

    Upto £30 you don’t need to use a fingerprint for Android Pay, works with the screen locked.

  • Lee9

    I agree with Topaz Tschinnery & Sunnie 100%. Visa aren’t giving businesses free money due to the kindness of their hearts. It’s a scam. They want everyone microchipped, & poor. Those who govern the world want total control. That’s why they lie to everyone.

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