As four of the Big Six announce cuts to energy bills, it’s time to check if you are getting the cheapest deal
Consumers are being urged to check they are getting the best deal on their energy bills after four of the Big Six firms announced they were cutting prices. British Gas has cut electricity prices by 5%, while EDF Energy and nPower have announced that gas customers will get a 5% cut. Scottish & Southern Electricity has cut gas unit prices by 4.5%, but left its standing charge the same, reducing bills by 3.8%.
However, the price cuts only apply to the providers’ standard tariffs, and other deals may offer better value.
According to figures from price comparison website Moneysupermarket, even after the cuts come into effect dual fuel customers on the standard tariff with these companies can save at least £200 by moving to the cheapest deal, an online tariff from First:utility called iSave v9. The average user on that deal will spend £1,030 a year, but that includes a discount of 13% paid at the end of 12 months.
The next cheapest deal, according to Moneysupermarket, is Scottish Power’s Online Energy Saver 17, at £1,085 a year for the average consumer. The tariff offers 8.6% off the firm’s standard charge for direct debit customers until 31 March 2013. There is a £50 charge if you want to switch.
Even if you want to stay on a standard tariff you might still be able to cut costs. Joe Malinowski of comparison site TheEnergyShop.com says that, even after the price cuts, the cheapest online deals offered by Scottish & Southern and British Gas will still be more expensive than EDF Energy’s new standard tariff.
Despite the price cuts, many families are struggling with bills, and this week Citizens Advice is holding Big Energy Week to encourage those in difficulty to take advice. The charity’s chief executive, Gillian Guy, says: “Anyone who is looking to save money on their energy bills; needs advice on fuel debt or wants to check that they’re getting all their help available can go along to any Citizens Advice Bureaux.”