Switch to save as energy prices fall

Advice from the experts at MoneySuperMarket


With frustration mounting among consumers about the sustained high cost of gas and electricity, the big energy providers are finally taking action.

Wholesale prices have already dipped – largely mirroring the fall in oil prices on international markets – and energy users want to see savings passed on in the form of cuts in their bills.

Four of the so-called Big Six energy providers – Eon, SSE, Scottish Power and nPower – have trimmed their gas prices by between 5.1% and 5.4%, delivering savings of around £30 to typical users on their standard tariffs.

The other two – British Gas and EDF – will no doubt follow suit in the coming days.

But even when these cuts are taking into account, the standard tariffs for households with average consumption will still be around £300 more expensive than the cheapest fixed rate tariffs, which cost well under £800 a year.

For example, Eon has a 'dual fuel' (gas and electricity) tariff priced at less than £770 a year for a typical household. The price is fixed for a year.

SSE has a fresh deal of its own – priced at £775, again for average consumption levels (and also fixed for a year).

If you look outside the Big Six firms, suppliers such as Extra Energy and GB Energy are also offering sub-£800 a year deals.

To get the best price on fixed deals such as this, you have to agree to pay monthly by direct debit. You may also have to pay exit fees (usually around £30 per fuel) if you want to move to a different tariff before the fixed term ends.

But this can be worth doing if the new tariff offers bigger savings than the cost of the penalty.

Anyone on their supplier's standard tariff should think urgently about making the switch to a cheaper deal. Switching itself is straightforward.

You can complete an online quote and initiate a switch in around 10 minutes, and it should then take 17 days for the switch to take place.

There's no need for any work inside or outside your property and there'll be no interruption to your supply. All you need to do is send final meter readings when requested, and settle any outstanding payments to your old supplier.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.