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Thousands face energy bill hike as fixed rate tariffs end

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13/03/2014
Some 300,000 homeowners could see their energy bills rise by an average of £186 a year when a raft of fixed rate tariffs come to an end this month.

Nine tariffs from British Gas, E.on, EDF, npower and Scottish Power are due to expire late March or early April.

According to energyhelpline.com, it is unprecedented for so many fixed and discount rate tariffs to come to an end at the same time.

Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: “Consumers need to take action now if they want to avoid these hefty price increases. The last six weeks of a fixed rate tariff is the best time for a customer to switch as they have a switching window set up to make things easier.

“If they switch during this window they cannot be charged cancellation penalties and the supplier they are leaving has to hold their old price until the switch goes through.”

Customers on certain British Gas fixed tariffs can expect average increases of £72 to £84 when their tariffs roll over to standard offers on 1 April, while EDF customers on the Price Protector March 2014 tariff will see an average increase of £183. Looking into the cheapest tariff – and switching before current tariffs expire – could save customers upwards of £150.

According to Todd the best tariffs are rarely offered proactively to customers as they offer very little profit margin to energy companies. He said going online or calling a switching service could give households access to little-advertised deals.

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