Time to switch energy supplier says Adam Aiken

But the changes, particularly when it comes to gas, will still hit hard and will send more people into fuel poverty, which is when a household spends more than 10 per cent of its income on domestic fuel.

Now the latest round of price energy price increases have been announced it makes to shop around says ADAM AIKEN.

THE last of the big six energy suppliers have unveiled their price hikes so it could be the right time to shop around for the best home-energy deal. EDF Energy has finally followed the likes of Npower, Eon, Scottish & Southern, Scottish Power and British Gas in announcing a steep rise in the cost of domestic fuel.

It was hardly a bombshell announcement – the question was when it would happen, not if – but when EDF said the cost of gas would go up by more than 15 per cent and electricity by 4.5 per cent, it signalled another bout of misery for millions of hard-pressed consumers.

The news came just days after it was revealed that inflation was nearly at a three-year high, with rising energy costs cited as one of the key drivers behind the soaring inflation. EDF deserves some credit for two things. First, it was the last of the big six suppliers to put its prices up. And even after its price rises come into effect, it will be one of the cheapest, especially for dual-fuel customers (people who buy both their gas and their electricity from the same company).


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But the changes, particularly when it comes to gas, will still hit hard and will send more people into fuel poverty, which is when a household spends more than 10 per cent of its income on domestic fuel.

Switching gas or electricity supplier is something you should always be prepared to do, but the best time to make a move is after all the big suppliers have changed their prices. If you had switched during all the recent to-ing and fro-ing, you ran the risk of switching to a better deal that would itself be jettisoned when your new supplier put its own prices up.

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In other words, leaving things until all the companies have announced their new pricing plans means you can then make a comparison on a level playing field.

Although analysts have pointed out that EDF will remain the cheapest supplier for many people even after its hikes kick in on November 10, what’s best for one person isn’t necessarily best for someone else.

How you pay for your fuel, how much you use and even where you live will all have an impact on what the best deal is for you.

Invariably, online deals are the cheapest. But you will also need to decide whether to go for a flexible tariff that will follow any further price changes, or opt instead for a fixed-rate tariff.

As with mortgages, fixing your monthly payments usually means you pay a higher rate at the outset, but you have the security of being shielded from future price rises.

The average EDF dual-fuel bill is set to jump to �1,241 a year, according to the analysts at Moneysupermarket.com, and other suppliers are charging even more.

A lot of people shop around for their car insurance and home insurance as a matter of course, even though the sums involved with these policies are often much smaller than annual fuel bills.

So with the cost of gas and electricity now so high, looking for the best deal can really pay off. If you haven’t switched supplier recently, it could be well worth doing so now.

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