You can now pay upfront for your energy for the next year – but is it a good deal?
Small supplier Eversmart Energy has launched the cheapest one-year fix on the market – but you'll need to pay the whole cost upfront.
Eversmart Energy – which has about 40,000 customers – has launched its new 'Family Saver Club' tariff, costing a typical dual-fuel household £979/year, around £20 less than the current cheapest fix.
To get it though, you'll need to pay for the full 12 months in advance, rather than paying monthly or quarterly – so depending on your usage it could be a huge upfront cost.
Yet there are benefits – it's cheap and you are paid interest on your credit balance.
While it's the cheapest fix on the market – based on typical use – there are less expensive variable deals. These start at a typical £921/yr, though prices can rise at any time with variable tariffs.
This deal isn't on comparison sites, so to check if it's a good tariff for you, get a quote from Eversmart Energy and then compare it against the rest of the market using our free Cheap Energy Club.
How does it work?
The tariff is available for new and existing customers, for those on dual fuel and single electricity.
It's only available direct, so you'll need to go to Eversmart Energy's website to get a quote. Enter your usage for the last year, and Eversmart will give you a quote on what you should pay for the next 12 months.
If you take the tariff, you'll need to pay the full amount upfront via its online portal or mobile app the day Eversmart takes over your supply.
This payment essentially acts as credit – Eversmart will deduct what you've used each month from your balance.
You also get 1% interest each month on this credit – after the supplier takes off your monthly use.
Is my money at risk?
Under regulator Ofgem's safety-net rules, your credit is protected if the worst happened and the supplier went under.
We've seen several small suppliers cease trading this year, including Iresa, Future Energy and Usio so this is always a possibility. If this were to happen, Ofgem would appoint a new supplier to take on your energy supplier. This new provider would then be responsible for honouring any outstanding credit balances you had with your previous provider.
What if I use more or less energy than I paid for?
If you end up using less energy than expected, you'll get anything you overpaid back at the end of the 12 months. If you use more energy, you'll need to pay an additional sum to cover that.
The supplier has also told us it'll carry out payment reviews every six months, so if you are using much more energy than expected, it will ask you to top up your account.
How does it compare?
On average, it costs a typical household £979/yr. The next cheapest fix is from Avro Energy at £1,000/yr.
There are also £50/fuel exit fees with the Eversmart Energy deal.
And while the 'Family Saver Club' tariff is the cheapest fixed deal on the market, you can switch to a variable deal for around £60 less – though unlike Eversmart's tariffs, your rates aren't locked in, so could go up (or down) at any time.
What does Eversmart Energy say?
Barney Cook, CEO of Eversmart, said: "We know this time of year can be expensive for families up and down the country, so hopefully our Family Saver Club is a way to help them plan finances better, get some money back on the energy they use, and ease the stress that can come with contacting their energy supplier."