Friday, April 19, 2013

Best energy deals this spring

As spring finally arrives, we round up the cheapest energy tariffs on the market.
As Spring finally arrives, we round up the cheapest energy tariffs on the market
Energy suppliers have been contacting bill payers to arrange recalculations of direct debit payments following unseasonably cold weather in March and April.
Direct debit payments are calculated on the assumption that energy usage will fall at the onset of spring, usually in March. But British weather has been even more unpredictable than usual this year, resulting in the coldest March ever recorded.
Rather than increase your direct debit payments you can choose to pay off your extra usage in a lump sum. In order to keep these extra usage costs down it is important to ensure you are on the cheapest energy tariff available. We round up the current deals below.
Cheapest discounted online variable tariff
The current cheapest online discounted variable tariff that is available for most payment methods is SSE's Discounted Energy Bonus October 2014. The average annual cost for a typical bill on this tariff is £1,158, representing a £262 saving over a typical dual fuel bill of £1,420 (source: Energyhelpline).
The catch:
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There are cancellation fees associated with this tariff, and you would be charged £50 if you wanted to switch away to another supplier before the tariff contract end date of October 1 2014.
Cheapest fixed tariff
A fixed tariff protects you from any further price rises by locking your rates for a set period of time. The advantage of taking a fixed tariff is you will know exactly how much you will be spending for your future energy needs, regardless of any price rises that may come into effect.
Because of this, fixed tariffs are typically more expensive than their discounted variable counterparts. The current cheapest fixed tariff is npower’s Online Price Fix June 2014. A dual fuel customer choosing this tariff could expect to pay £1,184 annually on average, a £236 saving over a typical bill. Customers on this tariff see their costs fixed until June 30 2014.
The catch:
Cancellation fees apply for the tariff, with customers charged £30 per fuel if they wish to switch to another supplier before the end of their fix.
Cheapest long-term fixed deal
The current cheapest long-term fixed deal is EDF’s Blue+ Price Promise February 2015 tariff. Prices on this tariff are fixed until February 28 2015, and the average cost of the tariff is £1,192 annually, representing a £228 saving over a typical bill and only slightly more expensive than the cheapest fix available.
Long fixes such as this tariff insulate you from any potential price rises for two winters, and with many commentators speculating that more price rises are on the way, this may be a good option for those looking to future-proof their energy costs.
The catch:
There are no cancellation penalties or tie-ins associated with this tariff, meaning you could switch before the end date should you choose. So there are no catches associated with it.
Cheapest green energy deal
Many households are looking to be socially responsible and do their bit to help the environment, and some may want to choose an energy tariff that sources its energy from renewable sources in order to do this.
Good Energy’s Good Energy & Gas+ tariff offers electricity that is 100pc from renewable sources. The tariff currently averages at £1,313 annually, offering an £107 saving over a typical bill. Other cheaper green options are available that source less of their fuel from renewable sources, such as Ovo Energy’s Green Energy Fixed which sources 15pc of its electricity from renewable sources and costs £1,302 a year on average, a £118 saving over a typical bill and sees prices fixed for 12 months.
The catch:
Due to the extra costs involved, green tariffs are often more expensive than their traditional counterparts. The Ovo Green Energy Fixed tariff also includes cancellation fees of £30 per fuel if you decide to switch away before the end of the fixed period. Gas is of course not able to be sourced from renewable but green tariffs often include carbon offsets to account for this.