Households who took out a cheap fixed price energy deal last summer are likely to be quids in despite recent announcements of price cuts by the major firms, according to comparison site

The website says the average cost of a fixed price plan taken out in June 2011 — when they were extremely popular — was £1,089 a year.

That rate is £170 or 13.5% a year cheaper than the current average standard plan, even after the cuts.

Suppliers would have to cut prices by a further 13.5% before consumers who fixed their prices last summer would lose out against standard tariff customers.

British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish & Southern and Scottish Power have all announced cuts or their intention to cut gas OR electricity price by an average of 2.6% over the past couple of weeks.

However, the giants all hiked gas AND electricity prices by an average of 21% last autumn so the falls have not come close to wiping out the rise in costs.

Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch, says: "As a result of the £224 or 21% hike in prices that started at the end of 2010, consumers flocked to fixed price plans. Now with energy prices falling, some will be wondering whether they did the right thing.

"They will already be reassured by the fact that suppliers have only cut their prices by 2.6%. The reality is that even after these cuts, prices would still need to fall by £170 or 13.5% before those on fixed price plans would be out of pocket compared with standard plan customers."

To fix or not to fix

While the cheapest fix costs a typical £1,059 a year today, the cheapest variable rate is £29 cheaper at £1,030 a year.

While fixing can cost more, it is effectively an insurance policy against prices rising in future, and none of us know what will happen to our bills.

Archna Luthra, consumer products analyst, says: "Opting for a fix is always about whether you want the safety of knowing your prices aren't going to suddenly climb.

"But even with these tiny cuts, those who opted for a cheap fix after doing a comparison are still making big savings."

Also see Martin's Was I wrong to fix? blog.

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