British Gas, E.on, SSE and some smaller suppliers have announced energy price freezes till the end of winter. Yet if you're one of the 66% on one of their standard tariffs they're typically freezing you at £200/yr MORE than the cheapest.
And while these freezes are just for a few months, the best fixes last at least a year, or even longer. So take control, and at a much cheaper rate - which protects you from standard price rises we expect next spring. And if they happen, the savings will be even greater.
While the savings above are based on typical use, some save MUCH more, eg, Emily, who tweeted: "Thank you @MartinSLewis & @MoneySavingExp. Just switched my parents' gas bill through your site - saved them £780/yr."
1) Urgent. Cheap fix for two winters + £30 cashback - 10,000 available. Let's be straight, prices are on the up. In the last two months alone, the cheapest deal has gone from £744/yr to £858/yr, and it's predicted to continue rising.
But we've blagged a dual-fuel tariff from Flow Energy that most will see if you do a Cheap Energy Club comparison ASAP. It's £877/yr on typical use, only £19/yr more expensive than the best 1yr fix. You do, however, get to lock in for two winters, not just one; and you get £30 cashback via our Cheap Energy Club.
This isn't a collective switch (where a trusted intermediary such as a council or us negotiates a special deal for users) but we think it's the next best thing, and as there are only 10,000 available, they'll likely go quick. The key facts:
- It's available for new customers only.
- You get £30 dual-fuel cashback from Cheap Energy Club.
- As it's a fix, the rate (not cost, that depends on use) is fixed until 31 March, 2018.
- It's available for dual-fuel only (ie, gas & elec together) incl Eco 7.
- You must pay by monthly direct debit.
- Leave early and there's a £20/fuel exit fee.
- The switch of your supply will happen at some point from 1 Jan.
- You can't take it with you if you move home but there are no exit fees if you do relocate.
- It's also on MoneySup (we're part of the same group) but nowhere else, yet there you don't get the cashback.
How it compares for someone with typical usage
Avg price on Ofgem typical dual-fuel direct-debit use (varies by region)
Typical cost: Current avg Big 6 standard tariff: £1,063/yr
MSE Special: Flow Energy March 2018 fix: £877yr + £30 cashback, £20/fuel exit fee
Cheapest open-market 1yr fix: So Energy: £858/yr - no cashback, £5/fuel exit fee
Cheapest bigger provider with good service: First Utility 1yr fix: £929/yr - £30 cashback, £30/fuel exit fee
Cheapest 2yr fix: First Utility: £999/yr - £30 cashback, £50/fuel exit fee
Get YOUR EXACT PRICE & saving via a full market comparison
Who is Flow? It's a small provider, but not a tiddler; it works with Shell, and its cust feedback was 77% 'great' in our last survey.
2) Check NOW to see if you're on one of these standard tariffs -They're MASSIVELY expensive, so check your bill now, and if you are - ACT.
- British Gas Standard
- EDF Standard (Variable)
- E.on Energy Plan
- Npower Standard
- Scot Power Standard
- SSE Standard Energy
If you've never switched or haven't done so in the last year, chances are (unless you did and opted for a longer fix) you're on one of the above, paying far too much. Do a full market comparison via MSE's free Cheap Energy Club now to see how much you could save, and even if you don't want to swap provider, some can still save big by switching to their current provider's cheapest fix.
3) Save £280/yr if you have prepay. Standard meters are cheaper than prepay, and the Big 6 have stopped charging to swap you to one - though most require a credit check. Some small suppliers also offer this for free (though not all). If you're on a standard prepay tariff with the Big 6, with typical use, you're paying £1,137/yr. So switching to the cheapest standard meter fix can save £279/yr on average use. See our Cheap Prepaid Gas & Elec help for full info.
4) Switching's quick, easy and can save £100s/yr. Many wrongly think switching's a hassle, yet it's the same electricity, same gas and same safety - only service, billing and price change. For most, it takes just 5-10 mins to fill out their details on our Cheap Energy Club.
Just grab a recent bill for your annual usage (if you don't have one, we can estimate), enter your details and we give a full market comparison. Select a tariff, fill in the switching form and you're done - your energy supply should switch in 3-4 weeks - they do the work behind the scenes. Pete did it: "Saving £160 a year, took 5 mins max."
- Elec or gas only? Don't worry, you can still switch, though your choice may be more limited. Just go to Cheap Energy Club and select the correct fuel in the 'Edit details' section.
This article first appeared in the weekly email on 23 November 2016.