The Fixer: cheaper energy bills

Is it worth paying an exit fee to switch?

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Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

Switch energy suppliers - you could save £100s

Dear Fixer,
I want to make sure I am paying as little as possible for gas and electricity this winter. So I have started looking into the best energy deals.

The problem is that my current British Gas plan has an exit fee of £60 if I switch before the end of May next year.

Should I pay this fee and switch now? Or should I hang on and switch once I can do so without incurring a charge?

F Brundan, Birmingham

Dear Mr Brundan,

It still takes between six and eight weeks to switch supplier, so you are right to start looking at switching now if you want lower energy bills this winter.

The cheapest energy tariff available at the moment is from Co-operative Energy. Its Fair and Square plan costs a typical household just £988.70 a year.

If, however, you want protection from any future energy price hikes, the best deal is from First Utility. Its iSave Fixed September 2015 costs £992.48 a year on average.

You therefore need to look at your British Gas bills and work out if switching to one of these tariffs will save you more than £60 between now and the end of May 2015.

If the answer is no, then it is probably sensible to stick with your current plan. But if the potential savings outweigh the £60 cost of switching, then it is no reason not to go ahead.

Just remember that switching to the First Utility fixed tariff will mean having to pay another exit fee of £60 if you decide you want to switch again before next September.

Whatever you decide to do, you can find more information about cheap energy plans here.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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