Why Fixing Now Is the Best Way to Find a Cheap Energy Supplier

Many consumers know that if they want to save money on energy bills, they’re going to have to switch suppliers. Switching suppliers usually means that customers can get onto a much cheaper tariff, especially if they haven’t switched before. These savings can add up to hundreds of pounds per year for some households, meaning that switching could provide a significant windfall for some people. However, when it comes to switching, customers need to consider not only current rates, but also what those rates are going to be in the future. As energy prices go up, getting the best deal no longer means just getting the cheapest tariff today, but on locking into a tariff that offers the most savings over time. As such, to find a cheap energy supplier most customers are better off opting for a fixed-rate. This article will look at how to compare fixed-rate tariffs and why a fixed-rate is likely to be the cheapest option.


Why fix?


Fixed-rate tariffs offer security against price rises, meaning that customers on a fixed-rate tariff lock into a tariff for a certain amount of time. The fixed-rate period can range widely from a few months to four years. While most fixed-rate tariffs charge a higher rate than variable-rate tariffs, it is important to keep a long term perspective in mind. Variable rates may look attractive today, but energy prices are expected to rise substantially in the coming months and years. Therefore, most long-term fixed deals will work out cheaper than a variable-rate plan. Also, consumers should not confuse fixed-rate rate with fixed-discount. A fixed-discount means that the customer gets a certain percentage off of the supplier’s standard tariff, but since the standard tariff is variable, customers will still see their bills fluctuate.


Why now?


Many suppliers are planning on raising their tariffs ahead of the winter months, and most of the bigger companies have already done so. While switching is fairly easy, it also takes a long time, usually up to two months. Therefore, the best way to avoid an expensive winter is to begin the switching process now. By switching now consumers will get onto the cheaper tariff in time for the coldest months when energy consumption tends to rise.


How to find the best fixed-rate tariff


When it comes to finding a good fixed-rate tariff, a number of factors need to be taken into consideration, primarily the length of the fixed-rate period. A shorter fixed-rate contract will usually offer lower rates, but when that period ends the consumer will either have to begin looking at switching again or else risk getting placed onto an expensive variable rate. Also, because the switching process can take up to two months, a fixed-rate offer that ends in four months will effectively only see consumers enjoying savings for two months. Long-term fixed contracts, some of which are fixed for four years, are often much better when it comes to saving money. The tariffs on these are usually higher than short-term contracts, but since energy prices are predicted to rise substantially in the coming years, these long-term tariffs are likely to offer the best savings overall. Furthermore, long-term tariffs are ideal for those that want security and don’t want to bother with having to look for a new energy supplier every few months.


Other points to consider


Beyond considering the length of the contract, there are also other ways consumers can save on a fixed-rate tariff. Consumers who choose to pay via Direct Debit usually enjoy additional discounts, and those who manage their accounts completely online could get even more savings. Online-only tariffs are usually cheapest since the supplier can save money by not having to print out and post energy bills to the customer. Finally, customers should keep an eye out for the smaller independent suppliers, not all of which are always included in price comparison site tables. These small suppliers may not be very well known, but they often offer the cheapest energy deals.


Since energy prices are likely to go up in the next few years, it only makes sense that customers should be looking at saving money with a fixed-rate deal now. Fixed-rate contracts are the best way to find a cheap energy supplier, and they will help consumers save a substantial sum of money in the months and years to come.



 Michael Warford reviews the energy companies for the latest information on energy deals and recommends to his readers to visit http://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/guides/find-cheap-energy-supplier/ uSwitch website for the latest information available.

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