Npower is cutting the number of energy tariffs it sells from seven to four, but will be culling one of the top fixed price tariffs in the process.
Under Ofgem rules, energy suppliers have to cut the number of tariffs they offer to four per fuel by the end of the year in an attempt to simplify the market. (See our Cheap Energy Club to get the best deal for you.)
Suppliers also have to move anyone on an old standard or variable tariff onto their cheapest new variable deal (see the Fewer tariffs demanded in energy bills reform MSE News story).
So from today, Npower is launching four new tariffs, and has taken all of its existing deals off the market, barring one, Energy Online October 2014.
However in the process of simplifying its deals, Npower has axed one of our top buys – the Online Price Fix February 2015 tariff.
This cost the average dual fuel user paying by direct debit £1,180 a year. It's being replaced with a fix at a similar price of £1,182 a year, which only lasts until October 2014. We warned MoneySavers in this week's email there were rumours of fixed deals being pulled.
From today, Npower is offering the following four tariffs – one is variable, the others are fixed. All prices quoted are for the average dual fuel user paying by direct debit:
- A standard variable tariff: £1,182/year
- Online Fix October 2014: £1,182/year
- Fixed December 2015: £1,305/year
- Price Protector September 2016: £1,318/year
Energy prices will vary depending on usage and where you live, so use our Cheap Energy Club to find the best deal for you.
Archna Luthra, MoneySavingExpert.com consumer products analyst, says: "It's an injustice that those who most need help with their energy bills are the ones that don't have access to the cheapest tariffs.
"The simplification of tariffs should go some way to helping this.
"However not everyone will benefit from this move. While it means there will be less difference between the cheapest and most expensive tariffs, some will miss out on the super-cheap tariffs they have become used to."
How will this affect me?
Existing Npower standard tariff customers will automatically be moved onto the supplier's new standard variable tariff. This process should be completed by winter.
However, its standard variable tariff won't change in price. Instead, customers will receive a daily discount for paying by direct debit, rather than an annual discount, which meant customers were tied down to Npower for 12 months.
Npower's existing customers won't be affected. They'll have the option to move onto one of Npower's four key tariffs once their existing deal is finished.
The energy giant has also revealed a revamp of its bills, aimed at cutting out "clutter".
Npower says its colour-coded bills will be written in a straightforward language, with no industry jargon and will also include a breakdown of how much energy has been used, how much this costs and how this compares with last year.