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Are fixed energy prices a way to beat rising bills?
Fixed price energy tariffs offering price freezes until 2017 have been launched after it was announced prices are to jump 10% in the next two months.
Last week Scottish Power launched a three-year fixed tariff, these rival other long-term fixed deals such as EDF Energy’s offer extending to November 2016.
What is a fixed rate energy tariff?
A fixed rate energy tariff is one that will provide you with a one energy price for a specified period of time.
The average household bill currently stands at £1,247, nearly £100 a month, a 10% rise would add around £125 a year.
Recent studies suggest family budgets are already stretched and any further increases could cause debt problems.
A recent YouGov poll for the Salvation Army found 40% of UK families cannot afford a family holiday and worry about covering costs over the summer like meals, clothing and basic activities.
Do fixed energy tariffs save money?
While there is no guarantee of a saving, a fixed rate does give stability in an increasingly expensive market.
Several tariffs are available that offer the peace of mind of knowing a bill won’t increase over an agreed period:
• Scottish Power offer the longest extended price freeze, The Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2017 will cost £1,350.
• EDF offer a Blue+Price Freeeeze November 2016 for the same price of £1,350.
• First Utility’s iSave Fixed September 2014 allows a 12 month dual fuel fixed rate at £1,225.
• Npower Online Price Fix October 2014 costs £1,181 a year.
Exit fee charges of around £30 can be added if you decide to leave before the full term, and it’s worth remembering that the fixed term tariffs are at a premium rate so you’ll pay more than the current cheapest deals.
Other ways to save on your energy bills
Price comparison sites like Confused.com say the average saving for switching gas and electricity is £200 while GoCompare says one in 10 of their customers saved more than £400.
Using an online utility switcher is the best way to see if there will be a financial benefit to switch.
Experts also suggest changing to online bills can save around 10%. Paying dual fuel also offers discounts and paying by monthly direct debit is another way to pocket discounts.
*If you’re struggling to manage your energy bills use Debt Remedy for a budget assessment and expert debt advice.