Beat the sneaky energy price rises

There are two ways that energy companies can hike your bill. The first is with a rise in the headline rate, which gets everyone hot under the collar and inspires us to move.

The second is by very quietly pulling their very best deals. And new research shows that at the moment that's exactly what's happening.Three out of the six most competitive deals on the market have recently been quietly withdrawn by the companies. Two of the plans were removed last Friday with EDF Energy and npower both closing their cheapest plans to new customers with immediate effect.

As a result, in the last six weeks, the best deals on the market have crept up from £913 to £947, so anyone trying to sign up now has missed the boat. And the concern is that the last remaining big player may pull its best deal too. British Gas is still charging an average of £895 for its online deal. But uSwitch warns that British Gas could now well follow the others and raise it prices. It says now is the time to switch.

Time to switch?
Tom Lyon, energy expert at, says: "The current crop of best buy plans are not going to be around for long. I would urge people to snap up a deal now or risk seeing the last competitive plan slip through their fingers. The best buy plans are being withdrawn for new customers and not existing, so those who had the foresight to sign up while the going was good will see their competitive price preserved at least for the time being. The key thing to take from all this movement in the market is that there are still some competitive plans out there, but there is clearly now no guarantee that they will be around for long. I really would urge consumers to see this as a last call and to sign up to one now before it is too late."

Rises later?
However, it's worth highlighting that getting yourself on a best buy deal now is absolutely no guarantee that you'll keep that great rate for the foreseeable future. These tariffs can be withdrawn any time even for existing customers and replaced with a more expensive one. And if you're on a cheap deal, you're highly unlikely to be moved onto the next cheapest - you'll be bumped onto a massively expensive one and it'll be up to you to switch.

If you can keep on top of what you're paying, and keep switching, there's no doubt you can pay less for your energy. If there's a risk your inattention could leave you languishing on a poor deal, then it's worth considering carefully whether you might be better off on a fixed deal - despite the fact they are more expensive in the short term.

So what do you think? Have you been taken off a good deal? Are your energy bills getting out of control? let us know in the comments?

Related stories
Read Full Story