Average Dual Fuel Tariffs 31% Higher Than 2 Years Ago
Despite the recent round of cuts to domestic gas prices by the big 6 energy companies new research shows that consumers are still on average around £279 worse off than they were two years ago.
If anyone remembers there were massive increases in dual fuel energy costs during 2008 where prices were hiked at an average of 42% and before these increases the average household energy bill was £912 against £1,191 today.
Even so customers who are still on any of the energy companies standard tariffs are still paying far too much and they should think about switching to a cheaper tariff. The Electricity Prices website says “even though prices are almost at an all time high, if you are on standard tariff or have not visited your pricing for a number of years you should investigate what the suppliers have on offer.”
It will remain a fact of life that electricity and gas prices will remain high and are likely to increase even further during 2010 as additional investments to reduce the reliance on traditional brown energy continues. The government has set tough targets to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions in the UK and these investments will of course fall onto the consumer eventually.
Average Standard Tariffs by Provider
Although most of the standard tariffs are very similar for a dual fuel tariff (as per the table below) this is not where most of the savings are made. The biggest saving you can make even with your existing provider is to pay by monthly direct debit which could save you up to around £200 per year depending on who you are with. But there are many products that simply offer a discount on standard tariff if you either manage your account online or sign up for a year or so with a supplier.
The average standard tariff rates for dual fuel tariffs if you pay by monthly direct debit are as follows:
- Scottish Power – £1,095
- EDF Energy – £1,088
- British Gas – £1,082
- Eon Energy – £1,088
- Npower – £1,102
- Southern Electric – £1,102
And the standard tariffs if you don’t pay by monthly direct debit such as cash or cheque payments are much higher as follows:
- Scottish Power – £1,282
- EDF Energy – £1,158
- British Gas – £1,157
- Eon Energy – £1,184
- Npower – £1,196
- Southern Electric – £1,162
All the energy companies allow you some discount if you take electricity and gas together but these discounts have reduced recently and most discounts for taking just one fuel on a years contract have increased so the actual benefit of taking both together has decreased so you should get quotes for single fuel supply for electric, gas and then both together whenever you are looking to switch companies.
More Deals Online
If you are looking around then the best deals to be had are definitely online because it costs much less to service customers directly from their websites. When the recent price cuts were announced the gas prices reduced by around 8% but some online deals actually fell by 19% and some online prices are now approximately £300 less than the basic standard tariffs quoted above so our advice is to go and shop around either by looking at each energy company’s website in turn (and all you need is your postcode and annual consumption figures from your bill) or use one of the many price comparison websites. You can sign up online and switch within days.