Gas and electricity tariffs expiring: switch or pay £200 more a year

Gas flameWith British summer finally arriving over the past few weeks, for most of us energy usage will have been the last thing on our minds.

However, many across the UK could be in for a nasty surprise as the summer draws to a close, as expiring tariffs may see households rolled onto high-rate standard tariffs.
%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%A number of tariffs across a range of suppliers are due to be withdrawn over the coming weeks. These include online discounted variable deals as well as fixed and capped tariffs.If you are on one of these tariffs and don't act, you could end up paying an extra £200 (or even more) a year for your energy as a result of being pushed into a standard tariff.

The tariffs currently affected include npower's Go Fix 6 tariff that expired on July 31st, as well as its Price Protector tariff that is due to expire on the 31st of August. Also being withdrawn on the 31st are three tariffs from ScottishPower: Capped Price Energy September 2012, Capped Price Energy September 2012 Online, and Online Energy Saver 14. On the 1st of September E.ON's Price Protection September 2012 will also expire.

You should always check the terms of their tariff so that you are aware of any tariff end dates, as well as any fees incurred if you wish to cancel your contract at any time. Being on top of these minor details can ensure that you avoid any avoidable rate hikes or penalties.

The current cheapest energy deals

Supplier Tariff Average Cost Average Saving*
1 first:utility iSave Fixed v3 Dec 2013 £1,040 £270
Notes: Fixed until 31st December 2013

2 Scottish Power Online Energy Saver 20 £1,050 £260
Notes: Guaranteed discount until 31st October 2013.

3 Scottish Power Online Fixed Price Energy Nov 2013 £1,052 £258
Notes: Fixed until 31 Oct 2013.

4 EDF Blue + Price Promise April 2014 £1,058 £252
Notes: Fixed until 30 April 2014

5 npower Energy Online Oct 2013 £1,064 £246
Notes: Rates guaranteed to be 3% cheaper than npower standard until 31st Oct 2013

* based on average dual fuel tariff costing £1,310 (Source: OFGEM 1 Aug 2012). 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.
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