April is typically an awful month for bill-payers across the country, with the new tax year commonly meaning increases in household expenses. This year sees water bills hiked, Council Tax bills up, prescription costs increased and - to further put the boot in - many are anticipating further increases in the cost of gas and electricity.
With the last round of price rises hitting us by as much as 11% only a few months back, and the country experiencing bitterly cold weather recently, this will be a bitter blow to consumers who are already bracing themselves for their next energy bill.
Now is the time to tackle your costs by comparing your current energy tariff with other suppliers on the market, particularly if you haven't switched in the last twelve months. You may have put this off, but unlike the annual spring clean of the garage, it is hardly an arduous task. Now may well be the best chance to snap up a great deal and reduce your overheads prior to any April increases hitting you in other areas.
Time to fix?
With many predicting further price rises this year, it is prudent for those concerned about ever-riding bills to opt for a fixed deal. Make sure before signing up to a fix that you check the small print however, as many come bundled with cancelation fees and tie-ins that would be applicable if you decided to leave before the fix end date.
The new EDF Blue+ Price Promise February 2015 is currently the cheapest fixed tariff on the market. This tariff has an annual average cost of £1,192, a £228 saving over a typical dual fuel bill of £1,420 (Source: Ofgem). The price is fixed until 28th February 2015, so those taking up the tariff would see no further rises for two more winters. There are no cancellation fees with this tariff either, giving you the option to move on should you decide you want to switch.
Other attractive fixed tariffs include first:utility's iSave Fixed v7 September 2014 at £1,194 a year on average, and npower's Online Price Fix May 2014 at £1,226.
Here are the current top fixed tariffs available on the market:
* based on a typical dual fuel tariff costing £1,420 (SourceOfgem). All costs are for a yearly average usage dual fuel household paying by monthly direct debit. Average usage defined by Ofgem as 16,500 kWh p.a. of gas and 3,300 kWh p.a. of electricity.