Press release:

Fix now: cheapest energy deal rises £100 in six months

  •  Cheapest energy deal on the market has risen by £100 or 14% since July 2016[1]
  • But big six energy suppliers have hiked cheapest deals by average of £135 or 16% since September[2]
  • Meanwhile small and medium energy suppliers have increased standard variable tariffs by an average of 9% or £87 since October[3]
  • EDF Energy is raising prices by 8.4% for its standard variable electricity customers, costing a collective £24 million for the two million customers on its dual fuel standard tariff[4]
  • With price freezes set to thaw in spring, uSwitch urges energy customers to switch to a fixed deal now to protect against further increases.

uSwitch.com is encouraging households to move to a fixed energy deal as the cost of bills continues to soar. New analysis from the price comparison and switching service reveals that the cheapest energy deal on the market has increased by £100 or 14% since July 2016[1], while the average cost of standard variable tariffs has also climbed.

According to the analysis, the cheapest energy deal on the market in July 2016 was IRESA’s Flex 1 tariff, costing £734 per year. Today, the cheapest deal is IRESA’s Flex 4 tariff, which, at £834, represents a 14% increase in six months[1].

Meanwhile, five of the big six energy suppliers have hiked the price of their cheapest tariffs by an average of 16% or £135 since September[2]. The cheapest deal on offer from E.ON has increased the most significantly by a staggering 26%, from a £760 per year tariff available in September 2016 to a £959 tariff today. This is followed by SSE, whose cheapest fixed deal was £782 in September and is now £970. With a difference of £143 between the average big six cheapest deal and the cheapest fixed deal on the market, there are significant savings to be made by shopping around[2].

Table 1: Big six energy supplier’s cheapest deals in September 2016 and January 2017

Cheapest tariff September 2016 Cheapest tariff 23rd January 2017
Supplier Name Price Name Price Difference (£) Difference (%)
E.ON E.ON Saver Fixed 1 year v1 £760 E.ON Saver Fixed 1 Year v5 £959 £199 26%
npower Online Fix September 2017 £801 Online Price Fix February 2018 £971 £170 21%
EDF Simply Fixed October 2017 £849 Blue+Price Protection Jan 18 £967 £118 14%
SSE SSE 1 Year Fixed v8 £782 SSE 1 Year Fixed v9 £970 £188 24%
ScottishPower Online Fixed Saver November 2017 £820 Online Fixed Saver March 2018 £952 £133 16%
British Gas All current British Gas plans £1,044 All current British Gas plans £1,044 £0 0%
Average £135 16%

Source: uSwitch.com. Prices correct as of 23rd January, 2017

EDF Energy is so far the only big six provider to announce a price rise on its standard tariff – affecting nearly two million customers[4]. The provider’s standard variable tariff will rise by 8.4% on electricity but its gas prices have been cut by 5.2%. This will add approximately £13 to a household’s dual fuel bill and equals a total additional payment of £24 million for its standard variable customers.

Meanwhile, the previously announced price freezes from other big six suppliers British Gas, SSE and E.ON are due to come to an end in the spring.

At the same time, 13 small and medium suppliers have increased the price of their standard variable tariffs by an average of 9% or £87 since October[3]. Suppliers announcing increases include Co-operative Energy, Ecotricity, Octopus Energy, Flow, So Energy, Bulb, OVO, LoCo2, Bristol Energy, Places for People and Avro.

Price rises are being blamed on the increasing wholesale cost of energy, which last summer started climbing at its fastest rate in years. uSwitch.com is urging all consumers to stay one step ahead of their energy supplier by switching to a fixed deal which will protect them from energy bill shocks over the coming year.

Emma Bush, uSwitch.com energy expert, says: “Consumers have been facing climbing energy prices for several months, but 2017 could see bills soar further. The cost of both standard and fixed deals continues to rise, and the respite provided by some suppliers’ price freezes will soon come to an end. If you are worried about a sky-high bill, you can take action now and switch to save up to £618.

“Switching to a fixed deal will help consumers stay one step ahead of their energy provider – but only if they act now. Every home should take a few minutes to check that they are on the best deal possible and switch to a cheap fixed deal before they disappear.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

  1. The cheapest energy deal for a medium usage dual fuel customer paying by direct debit in July 2016 was IRESA’s Flex 1 12month fixed Direct Debit at £734. As of January 2017, the cheapest deal for a medium usage dual fuel customer paying by direct debit is IRESA’s Flex 4 12month Direct Debit plan at £834. All figures are based on Ofgem medium consumption at 3100 kWh for electricity and 12500 kWh for gas.
  2. See Table 1 in body of press release
  3. Table 2: Small and medium supplier standard variable tariff price rises since September
Supplier Tariff Announcement Effective Difference Previous price New price
Co-operative Energy Pioneer 01/09/16 01/10/16 2.93% £1,089 £1,121
GB Energy Supply Premium Energy Saver 12/10/16 12/10/16 29.26% £820 £1,060
Ecotricity Green Electricity + Green Gas 24/10/16 14/11/16 5.70% £1,089 £1,151
Octopus Energy Flexible Octopus 31/10/16, 22/11/16, 5/12/16, 11/01/17 31/10/16, 22/11/16, 6/12/16, 11/01/17 11.29% £829 £923
Flow Flow Variable 09/11/16 09/11/16 8.88% £872 £949
So Energy So Out of Contract 11/11/16 14/12/16 2.39% £913 £935
Bulb Vari-Fair 15/11/16 16/12/16 9.21% £834 £911
LoCo2 Planet 25/11/16 01/01/16 7% £945 £1,012
Bristol Energy Standard Variable 28/11/16 28/11/16 8.24% £937.70 £1,015
Places for people Fair, Simple, Clear 02/12/16 02/12/16 14.24% £891.08 1,018.00
Avro Simple and Save 30/11/16 01/01/17 15.01% £765.99 £880.95
OVO Simpler Energy 21/11/16 10/01/2017 4.72% £1,064.14 £1,114.37
      Average 7.3%    

Source: uSwitch.com. Prices correct as of 23rd January, 2017

  1. EDF average bill for medium consumption will be £1,081.88 an increase on £12.57. EDF have 1,943,277 customers on standard variable tariffs (https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/understand-your-gas-and-electricity-bills/energy-plans-what-standard-variable-rate-tariff-and-how-does-it-compare) 12.57 * 1,943,277 = £24,426,991.89.
  2. Average big six cheapest deal is £977.17. The cheapest deal is IRESA’s Flex 4 at £834. £977-834 = £143.
  3. Between 1 June 2016 and 30 November 2016, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £618 or more.

About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.

The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG, which operates some of the UK’s most trusted digital brands that help empower smarter property and household decisions including Zoopla, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.

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