Signing up to an annual direct debit payment plan from your energy supplier is supposed to help prevent bill shock as your payments are spread equally throughout the year. But it might not work like that...
Two more energy giants announce price cuts
Katie Collins - PA Wire
British Gas and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) have both announced small price cuts for their energy customers.
British Gas has reduced its standard electricity prices by 5% from today as the energy price war really starts to heat up.
It says that the cut will save its 5.3 million single rate electricity and dual fuel customers on a variable tariff £24 a year on average. It won't apply to people who are on Economy 7 or have already fixed their tariff.
British Gas claims that this cut now makes it the cheapest major electricity supplier in Britain.
Meanwhile, SSE says that it will reduce the typical gas bill of its customers by around £28 a year. If you're an M&S Energy customer, you'll also benefit from the price drop.
However, Consumer Focus says SSE is not applying the price cut to its standing charge - the daily charge customers have to pay to the supplier - so the real price cut is actually 3.8%.
Big drop unlikely
Back in August, British Gas raised its electricity prices by a whopping 16%, so it's debatable if any existing customers will see a noticeable drop in their bills.
Yesterday, EDF cut its gas prices by 5% in response to the falling wholesale price of gas. And it's more than likely that the rest of the 'Big Six' - E.ON, npower and Scottish Power - will now follow suit.
Smaller suppliers Ovo and Co-operative Energy have gone one step further by both reducing their dual fuel tariffs in recent weeks.
Switch or wait
Despite the forecasts of further price drops, it's still well worth comparing rates and seeing if you could save.
If you haven't switched tariffs in a while, chances are you are on the standard and most expensive rate. Changing onto a fixed or online tariff could cut your bills immediately. Yes, rates could continue to drop in the coming months. But if you do decide to stick on a pricey deal and wait around for them, you could see the excess you're paying now outweigh any future savings.
So with that in mind, here are the current cheapest energy tariffs:
|Tariff||Average cost*||Average saving**||Fixed or capped?|
|First:utility iSave v9||£1,030||£315||No|
|Ovo New Energy Fixed||£1,061||£284||Fixed for 12 months|
|Npower Go Fix 10||£1,078||£267||Fixed until 8 April 2013|
|Scottish Power Online Energy Saver 17||£1,085||£260||No|
|Scottish Power Online Fixed April 2013||£1,095||£250||Fixed until April 2013|
As you can see, there's still as much as £315 to be saved by switching onto the market-leading tariff.
The best deal currently around is the online iSave tariff from first:utility. However with the top fixed tariff just £31 pricier on average, it may be worth foregoing the cheapest deal for the peace of mind of a year-long, set-price rate.
* All calculations are for an average usage duel fuel household paying by monthly direct debit. Average usage as defined by OFGEM is 16,500 kWh pa of gas and 3,300 kWh pa of electricity.
** Against a typical bill of £1,345 per year (source: Ofgem).
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Rainer Hammer. I agree with Lin Edwards, if you are paying £200 per month & using only limited amounts of fuel there is something drastically wrong, I pay £100 gas & £35 leccy which is over the top but I claimed back £450 g & £120 el last summer & I do this every year.
We are retired & the central heating is on most of the time, the wife has the washing machine going all the time, don't know what she finds to wash so often. So get those meters checked out & don't take NO for an answer, or better still change suppliers.
people who have money take from people who don't have money. but need basic things (commodities).. so the people who have money invest their money in things people who don't have money need....( gas, electricity , water, and fuel)... these companies are then floated on the stock market and sold, the investors (the people with money) demand a return (profit) on their stake in the company...
the investors get more greedy , not being satisfied with their return (profit)... they sit on a board and decide the prices so they can make more money ....
listen up here ...
WE OWNED THESE COMPANIES, THE PUBLIC, .....ONCE THATCHER GOT HER THIEVING TALONS ON THEM .. IT WAS THE END ...... WHY SHOULD WE BUY SOMETHING WE ALREADY OWNED ????
(WALL STREET.... GREED IS GOOD...)_
and now we are seeing the consequence for this......
Energy companies always profit from change. There are a lot of energy companies out there not just the big six, and I know of one company that is always competitive but still makes a profit. That isn't illegal, but ridiculously high profits and bonuses paid in a society when so many people are struggling to make ends meet is abhorrent.
Changing suppliers in small numbers will not affect the big companies unless other companies can grow to eat in to their market share. Don't just depend on the switching sites to get fair pricing either, they don't check all companies and often are misleading.
I think you all need to go buy solar panels and then the energy companies have to pay you.....and I know a company that pays you a higher tariff on what you produce too!
DO SOMETHING .. HELP US TO HELP YOU .... PROTEST.
It may not be a lot,but better in our pockets than theirs.
I'm with BG and I got fed up with the DD every month and always being in credit with them, so I changed to a monthly pay for what you use method.They ask you to e'mail them a meter reading each month then they bill you and DD what you have used.I prefer this method,better the money in my bank than being in their bank.
Get a smart meter for electricity from your supplier and see where your money is going instantly;see your costs jump up when you use the electric kettle or tumbler drier..Make sure your place is insulated,OAP's can get free insulation,other people can get grants from your council.Check your tariff,make sure you are on the best deal for you.
so I presume that they are going to plug this little 'loophole' and stop people involved in road accidents from claiming for their injuries???
hi, i read the comments. everyone seems angry at the high cost, even after this 5%cut. why get angry? get even instead.
i simply shut down my gas when they increase the tariff in 2008 and found that i can do without central heating. it is easy to keep warm with fleece clothing, and hot food and just take a walk. i live in london and in a flat so maybe my situation is not usual. but try it, u will be amaze at how easy it is to adapt to the cold rather than just automatically switch on the heating. this winter is very warm. if u have the heating on, u are not doing yourself a favour.
get even, and not use the gas at all. that will hit BG right in the pocket. if u dont use the gas , there is no profit for them.
i can use electric heaters to heat up individual rooms, but i found no need to do so.
my elect bill is £60 a quarter for a 2bedroom flat.
Yes i'll try that. When the children complain about being freezing and developing pnuemonia, i'm simply going to put a 'fleece' on them and tell them to go for a walk....
Then i'm going to cut a hole in my living room floor and fish for food like an eskimo. I wonder why nobody ever thought of just 'adapting to the cold' before. Genius.
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