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Snatch a great deal on your energy bills before the cold weather hits – updated

It’s all change on the energy best buy table as suppliers cut prices in the run up to winter

There's a difference of £300 between the cheapest and most expensive tariffs on the market

There’s a difference of £300 between the cheapest and most expensive tariffs on the market

A new plan from independent supplier First Utility has knocked E.ON off the top of the best buy table after just one week.

First Utility’s deal, the iSave Fixed March 2016, will cost the average household £960 per year. The plan is the cheapest seen on the market in the past two years. Customers who switch will also benefit from peace of mind, as the tariff will fix rates for the next two winters. It carries £30 per fuel cancellation fees.

First Utility recently announced it would be one of the first suppliers to reduce switching times for new customers to two and a half weeks by 10 November 2014.

Best buy table

Energy best buy table (as of Monday, 10th November, 2014)

Place

Supplier

Plan name

Average bill size

Tariff type

1

First Utility

iSave Fixed March 2016

£960

Fixed

2

E.ON

E.ON Energy Fixed 1 Year v12

£965

Fixed

3

npower

Online Price Fix Jan 2016

£968

Fixed

4

OVO Energy

Better Energy (all online)

£973

Fixed

5

Extra Energy

Fresh Fixed Price Dec 2015 v1

£974

Fixed

Source: uSwitch.com. *Based on a medium usage customer using 3,200 kWh of electricity and 13,500 kWh of gas paying by direct debit with bill sizes averaged across all regions. Does not include energy tariffs available solely through private initiatives such as collective switching schemes.

E.ON and npower

E.ON’s second place tariff, the E.ON Energy Fixed 1 Year v12 (paperless), remains an attractive choice and costs an average of £965 per year. It includes E.ON rewards (Tesco Clubcard points or up to £15 of high street vouchers) and carries a low £5 per fuel exit fee. It will fix energy rates for 12 months.

npower’s new plan, the Online Price Fix Jan 2016, has no cancellation fees and will fix rates until January 2016. Good news for anyone looking to keep their options open.

Ovo Energy has also cut prices and the independent supplier’s Better Energy tariff now now sits in fourth place, priced at £973 per year, with £30 per fuel cancellation fees and fixed rates for 12 months.

New plans provide respite for households

Speaking on the new plan, Ian McCaig, CEO at First Utility said: “This new deal reflects not only the changes in the wholesale market, but also our desire to help consumers before the cold winter months kick in.”

The wave of cheaper tariffs is good news for households across the country which have seen the average energy bill rocket to £1,265 per year – a 168% increase in the past decade. As a result six in 10 households have said they will be rationing their energy use this winter.

Smart thermostats and long term fixes

Households looking for a great deal could consider opting for npower’s Intelligent Control October 2016. The latter costs £1,169 and includes Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat which has a recommended retail price of £249. A great deal if you’re looking to purchase a smart thermostat, although it does carry £50 per fuel cancellation fees.

If you’re not the type who keeps abreast of the latest energy plans and don’t run a comparison at least a few times a year, you might be tempted by EDF Energy’s Blue+Price Freeeeze May 2018. This plan will freeze your rates until May 2018 for an average of £1,209, ensuring peace of mind and no price hikes for a while.

No standing charges

Standing charges cover the cost of providing your household with gas and electricity. Since the implementation of the Retail Market Review (RMR) every energy plan on the market needs to carry a standing charge, although it can be set at £0. The idea is that this will make it easier for customers to compare across all energy tariffs.

For some people the change led to a huge increase in their bills. This is particularly true in cases relating to properties that are left empty for a large part of the year. It is not always cheaper to get a plan with no standing charges. In many cases it will prove more expensive as energy unit rates are typically higher on plans with standing charges set at £0.

If you’re looking for plans with standing charges set at £0, have a look at tariffs from energy suppliers Ebico and Utilia. npower offers electricity plans with no standing charges.

Read more

Wholesale gas prices drop, but energy bills stay high

5 ways to cut your energy bill this winter

  • stevo1957

    No longer able to compare prices because my post code is no longer valid

    • Michele Martinelli

      Hello,
      Could you please email your details to editor@uswitch.com so that we can look into it?
      Thanks.
      Michele

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