My fixed energy contract ends
Bills are skyrocketing for millions of Britons, but some have been lucky enough to have fixed energy deals so they’re safe from rambling – for now.
But households see their contracts coming to an end and are shocked to see how much they will now have to pay.
One shared his surprise at the “outrageous” quotes he received when looking for a new deal on his energy bill.
He has to pay nearly double the amount for the five-bedroom semi-detached house he shares with his wife and two-year-old child.
“I am unfortunately coming to the end of an energy price fixing,” he said on a post on Reddit.
“Electricity runs out on April 22 and gas on February 22.
“I’ve just had offers for new patches, they’re outrageous, taking me from an already high bill of £220 a month (£187 once we’re ‘catched up’) to over £400 a month. month for one tariff and £500 for another.”
Fixed offers used to be cheaper than switching to the energy company’s standard “default” variable tariff.
But an energy crisis means that is no longer the case.
Wholesale gas prices have soared and energy companies have passed this on to consumers through higher prices for fixed offers,
The current cheapest solution is now over £2,000.
Default tariffs are now cheaper because they are limited by the price cap, and more than half of energy companies have returned to them to reduce their bills as much as possible.
The price cap is currently set at £1,277 for average dual fuel bills.
It should increase further in April when the cap is revised twice a year.
The anonymous poster said: “My wife and I are not making bad money, but these prizes represent a real risk to our long-term goals.”
He’s not the only one confused by what’s happening in the market and shocked by the rising bill.
Unfortunately, many others like him have to pay more for their bills when their fixed contract ends.
And some are wondering if they should abandon the price cap and fix their bill even at high amounts, because capped bills are expected to increase further.
Money-saving expert Martin Lewis calculated the figure in his recent newsletter and explained that for the most part the answer is no, “but for the first time in many months the repair may be worth it for some”.
“If you’re offered a solution that’s no more than 40% more expensive than your current capped rate, it’s worth considering, especially if you value budget certainty.”
Most fixed deals available now are about 56% above the cap, so the repair is unlikely to be worth it unless you have very high or low usage, he explained. .
“If you’re offered one, do the numbers to see what the percentage increase is,” Martin said.
But, there is a risk that if you fix now and prices go down, you could be locked into a deal that costs more.
On the other hand, if the prices go up, you’re locked into the cheapest fare.
Our SqueezeTeam expert Richard Neudegg has warned that customers should watch out for offers from their energy provider to switch them to a new tariff as it could cost thousands of pounds a year more than the one they are using already.
“We used to say back then that you could switch and easily get a much cheaper fare than what you’re paying now if you haven’t switched in a while.
“At the moment, that is not true.
“There are very, very expensive fixed rate agreements in the market and some suppliers have pointed them out to customers.
“If you switch to them in the middle of winter, you’ll immediately see an increase in what you’re paying.
“We’ve seen flat rate offers of up to £4,000 per year for a customer with average usage.”
There is no easy answer to the rising bills caused by the energy crisis, and Martin was left almost in tears on his show after he was unable to help a single mother cover her bill. sharply.
The government has promised to step in, but it’s still unclear what the aid to the bill might look like.
The anonymous payer on Reddit is now considering any home improvements he can make to improve the property’s energy efficiency, including insulating and replacing some of the single glazing to double it.
Energy upgrades can reduce your bill, but you may have to pay for them first.
Other simpler home hacks, such as putting all your electronics off standby, could save you £35 a year.
Check out these 21 steps you can take to lower your energy bill.
Help you can get if you’re struggling with energy bills
First, talk to your supplier and don’t bury your head in the sand if you’re late with your bills.
Sorting it out as soon as possible means you won’t go into debt, which could hurt your future finances.
Some suppliers have charitable trusts, which help you pay off any arrears you may have.
British Gas Energy Trust, for example, runs a scheme where anyone can apply for a grant, and you don’t even have to be a customer.
Other companies that offer grants only to their customers include:
Your local council may also be able to help you with money and grants if you are struggling with bills through the household support scheme.
The Winter Fuel Pay scheme, where those on state pension can get between £100 and £300 to help offset the cost of keeping their homes warm.
Low-income households can also get £25 a week to help pay their energy bills over the winter through the cold weather payment scheme.
The Warm Homes Rebate Scheme means you can pay £140 to cover your heating costs – but you need to act fast as this scheme has already been shut down by some energy providers.
You may qualify for a budget loan if you have received certain benefits for six months.
But while it can help cover some costs, like if your boiler breaks down and you need to replace it, or if you need to buy new energy appliances, like a washing machine or dryer, you’ll have to pay back the money. ‘money.
So check what other non-refundable aid you might get first.
If you’re worried about paying bills, falling behind, or getting into debt, there are plenty of organizations where you can seek free advice, including: