One of the cheapest fixed energy tariffs on the market has been pulled today, in a move which marks the start of a major hike in prices.

Npower has confirmed it has axed its Go Fix 6 offer, which was the second best deal available that allows consumers to protect themselves against rising costs.

Key Points

  • Npower axes second best fix
  • Others expected to be pulled
  • Consider fixes while cheap deals still available

British Gas and Scottish Power have already announced over recent weeks they will raise prices by up to 19% for existing customers in August, with the rest of the Big Six energy firms expected to follow shortly.

Many commentators have suggested those who cannot afford a rise should opt for a fixed tariff, which guarantees the price they pay per unit of energy won't change for the deal's term.

But energy firms were expected to axe their cheap fixes for new customers in advance of the increase for existing users. And that process has now got underway.

Price comparison site says the Npower deal was a very close second to the top deal available, the EDF Fixed Saver Version 2, which costs a typical household £1,009 a year, and guarantees unit prices until 30 September next year.

Npower Go Fix, which guaranteed prices until 31 July 2012, came in at £1,014. Those prices are only averages so won't apply to all. For some, Npower would have been cheapest.

The next best fixed deal is Ovo's New Energy Fixed tariff at £1,050 a year, fixed for 12 months. There are strong rumours other top deals could be pulled shortly.

Archna Luthra, consumer products analyst, says: "It's no surprise one of the cheapest fixes has been pulled. This always happens when prices are on the up.

"If you haven't already, urgently consider fixing as the remaining cheap fixes won't last long. If you're on a standard tariff, if you switch to a fix you can save around £150 a year even before the price hikes."

While the cheapest fixes start at just over £1,000 a year for a typical household, the cheapest standard deals average £1,150.

Variable online tariffs start at £950 a year but prices on these will rise when firms hike costs.