The two cheapest energy tariffs have been withdrawn from sale by Scottish Power.

The provider's Online Energy Saver 15, which was the cheapest energy deal based on average use, and costs £990 a year for a typical dual fuel (gas and electricity) customer, was axed yesterday.

Key Points

  • Scottish Power pulls top two energy tariffs
  • New top variable deal is by EDF
  • Ovo is now offering the cheapest fix

Today, Scottish Power's Online Fixed Energy December 2012 tariff, which was the next best deal on the market at a typical £1,015 year for dual fuel, as well as being the top fixed rate tariff, has also been pulled.

Only last week, EDF axed its Fixed Saver Version 2, which at the time was the top fixed energy deal at a typical £1,009 a year (see the EDF pulls cheapest fix news story).

The withdrawal of these deals coincides with recent hikes in energy prices, which are currently causing misery for millions of households already battling against the soaring cost of living.

All of the big six providers have raised prices by up to a 19% average, with only EDF left to implement its price increases on 10 November.

The best deal, according to price comparison site, is now EDF's Energy Discount Plan Version 5, which offers a 2.5% discount off the supplier's standard prices until the end of 2012, costing a typical household £1,024 a year. This is a variable tariff so prices can rise or fall.

The cheapest fix for a typical household is now Ovo's one-year New Energy Fixed at £1,050 a year.

Should you fix?

Fixing has become a popular option for many households given it shields users against possible further rises.

What's more, fixes are generally cheaper than most providers' standard tariffs, which will rise to a typical £1,300 a year once all hikes have come into force.

The risk with a fix is that if prices elsewhere in the market fall during the term of the deal it could prove a bad choice.

Also, with most fixes, if you want to exit your contract early you will have to pay a fee, which could cost anything from £20 to £100.

The energy market is complicated so before picking a particular tariff, it's important to check prices using a comparison site as costs can vary wildly depending on where you live and how much power you use.

Now is the best time to do a comparison as all of the big six providers have either raised or are due to raise prices, meaning you have a level playing field to compare tariffs.