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Energy deals: 66 tariffs are still more expensive than the price cap

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14/01/2019
The energy cap finally came into force on 1 January with the aim of cutting bills for millions of households on standard variable tariffs.  

Under the new rules, suppliers must not charge more than £1,137 for a typical duel fuel tariff.

However, people on a fixed deal, which are usually thought to be more competitive, and suppliers’ other variable deals are exempt from the cap. This means that many people continue to pay more than the cap.

What’s more, individuals who are on these tariffs would have to pay exit fees as high as £100 to end their contract early.

Research by auto-switching service Look After My Bills found 66 energy deals on the market are more expensive than the price cap.

The firm said 59 of these are fixed tariffs and seven are variable tariffs.

The priciest is from the supplier Ebico, with a fixed deal costing £1,312.29 – £175 more than the price of the cap.

All of the Big Six suppliers offer deals which are are higher than the cap. The most expensive is from British Gas, costing £1,255 per year with an exit fee of £80.

Lily Green, head of research at Look After My Bills said: “The price cap was a welcome step to protecting consumers on extortionate standard tariffs.

“Fixed deals are often seen as the safe option. But locking people into a fixed deal hundreds of pounds pricier than the cap, with a hefty exit fee is a pretty shameless move by suppliers.

“With the complexities around tariffs and big changes to the industry, it’s becoming harder and harder to know you’re making the right choice as consumer.”

How to cut your energy bills

If you’re overpaying for your energy, you could save hundreds of pounds by switching supplier.

People who have never switched before could save up to £458 a year, according to Energy Helpline.

Comparison sites such as Uswitch and Comparethemarket will help you find the best deal. If you want to know how well a firm scores on customer service, Citizens Advice produces a league table, which is updated every three months. Click here to see it.

Alternatively, you could use an auto-switching site, which monitors the energy market, automatically moves you to the best tariff and takes care of the switch for you.

Some of the main players in the auto-switching space include Look After My Bills, Flipper and Labrador. Click here for more on auto-switchers.

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