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Fixed price energy war heats up

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10/05/2013
The 'big 6' energy suppliers are battling it out to offer the longest fixed price plan, with npower and ScottishPower the latest to join the fray.

npower has today launched a new fixed price tariff that competes against its Scottish rival and EDF Energy.

According to uSwitch.com, npower Price Fix September 2016 not only offers the longest price protection on the market, with the plan not expiring until 30th September 2016, it also carries no exit penalties.

This puts it in direct competition with EDF Energy’s popular Blue + Price Promise.

npower’s new fixed tariff costs £1,317 a year – £16 a year more than ScottishPower’s Fixed Price Energy February 2016 and £125 a year more than EDF Energy’s Blue + Price Promise February 2015.

However, in return for this premium consumers get to enjoy security against price hikes for a further 8 and 19 months respectively.

Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “It looks like suppliers are on the verge of an all-out fixed price war and this spells very good news for consumers looking for shelter from potential price hikes. npower’s new plan is a double whammy as it not only offers the longest price protection on the market, but it also doesn’t carry any early exit penalties.

“This will definitely give rivals a bloody nose and lowers the risk to consumers of locking in for such a long time.”

Despite increasing energy prices, there are now a range of attractive energy plans in the market.

uSwitch says that the cheapest variable priced tariff on the market is Spark Energy’s Advance plan, which costs £1,041 a year, but which requires customers to pay upfront for their energy use. It comes in at £276 a year cheaper than npower’s new fixed price tariff, however, it doesn’t come with any pricing guarantees.

However, although the new longer-term fixed price tariffs are now carrying a premium for the protection they offer, they are still cheaper than suppliers’ standard tariffs for customers who are paying by cash or cheque.

Lyon added: “As ever, consumers always have to weigh up their options and the fact is that there are some cheaper options available if you are prepared to take a chance with price hikes.

“However, the prospect of knowing what price you will be paying for almost three and a half years will prove too good to resist for many, so I would urge consumers to plan ahead and start shopping around now.”

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