Fixed tariffs have become very popular, offering consumers discounted prices and peace of mind over their energy costs. This is great, but when the fixed tariff ends you should take action quickly or you’ll soon be paying more than you need to, as your supplier will automatically switch you to their standard rate tariff, which is never the cheapest option.
When you switch supplier, we’d recommend making a note of when your tariff ends. If you don’t know when it ends, you can find this information by contacting your energy provider. Suppliers must send you notice between 42 and 49 days in advance that your tariff is coming to an end and you are entitled to request a switch up to 49 days before your tariff end date. Switching tends to take between 4 and 6 weeks though, so you still need to act fast to avoid paying more than you should on a standard tariff.
Your supplier’s notice letter will probably suggest an alternative tariff that you could switch to, but cheaper tariffs may well be available from other suppliers, so you should take a few minutes to carry out a full comparison.
Another option that you should consider is signing up for a Price Watch service. They keep an eye on the market for you and let you know as soon as a cheaper tariff becomes available.
What if a cheaper tariff isn’t available?
If you run a comparison and find that there are no cheaper tariffs available, it may be that your current plan was extremely competitive when you signed up to it. You should still switch, otherwise you’ll soon revert to your supplier’s standard tariff and be paying over the odds.
In this situation, ignore the savings and instead pick the cheapest overall tariff. You should still make some great savings, compared to being put on your supplier’s standard tariff at the end of your fixed deal.