Today’s high energy bills are set to soar even higher this year. The top tip is to switch now to a fixed-price deal.
British Gas was first off the blocks, scrapping its cheapest deal and warning that higher wholesale gas costs could push average bills up £200 to £1,500. Then last week Scottish & Southern, which sells gas and electricity under the Southern Electric brand, issued warnings of rocketing costs.
British Gas has taken its cheapest deal for new customers, Web Saver 11, off the market — the new deal, Web Saver 12, typically costs £60 a year more. Rival supplier Npower has also dumped its cheap Go Fix 5 deal, replacing it with a deal that is more than four per cent more expensive.
Scott Byrom, energy manager at Moneysupermarket.com, says the only way is up. “It is clear prices are on the way up for bill payers and looking for a fixed tariff option may provide some peace of mind,” he says. Climate change initiatives are expected to add to the bills burden. Energy secretary Chris Huhne this month pledged that Britain will meet “exceptionally ambitious” carbon reduction targets of halving greenhouse gas emissions to half of their 1990 levels by 2025.
For households looking to fix prices now to avoid future increases over winter, the current best buy is from EDF Energy, whose Fixed Saver 2 charges bill-payers £1,009 a year until 30th September 2012 for average users.
“This is an impressive offer for those who want the security of knowing their energy outgoings will remain the same,” says Byrom. “It’s only £54 a year - or six per cent - more expensive than the current best priced online deal, which can be subject to price increases.”