If you have taken out a fixed price energy contract with any of the major energy suppliers in the UK and it’s coming to an end what should you do ?
As many as 4.6 million UK homes opted for fixed price electricity and gas contract when prices started to rise and rise they certainly have done. 4 years ago the average UK home was paying “just” £735 per year for electric and gas supplies under a dual fuel contract and today that stands at around £1,232 for standard tariffs.
Although most of the fixed price electricity tariffs that are expiring soon were not as cheap as those prices in 2006 they are certainly higher. And, depending on what terms were in your contract you will be switched automatically onto another tariff when the contract comes to an end and this could simply be a standard variable tariff or a new fixed term contract.
How to Find today’s cheapest prices
There are two things you should do. Firstly find out what new contract you’ll automatically be placed upon. If you have the paperwork from when you signed up to your fixed deal a few years back then that’s great – have a look at what it says. If you can’t find the contract then telephone your energy provider and find out what they have planned for your bills.
You may have already received notification of a change or if you manage your contract online you may have received an email to let you know a change is about to happen but this may not always be the case and it’s up to you to find out.
Once you know what tariff you’re going onto then you should check out the latest deals which may or may not be from your current supplier. Much has changed over the past few years and British Gas for example are being very competitive in the domestic electricity and gas market and are winning back hundreds of thousands of customers.
Go online and compare prices for the best deals
So now it’s time to check out the latest deals and almost all the normal price comparison websites will show you all the deals in your area. The UK is split into 14 areas and the prices are different all around the country so you will need your postcode and your consumption figures to hand when you try and compare prices.
You’ll be presented with all the current tariffs and prices for your postcode then it’s up to you to decide what you want to take. As with mortgages it can be hard to decide whether to take a fixed rate (which is generally higher than standard tariffs but the prices won’t change) or opt for a variable rate (where prices can fall and rise in line with wholesale prices).
Although prices have risen over the years and most likely the trend will continue this way long term the last two price changes where to reduce prices for electricity for domestic premises.