When you come to the end of your energy tariff it can seem daunting. At the end of your plan, you will generally be switched onto a much more expensive tariff automatically. This means that you should be aware of when it ends, how to switch if you want to, and what plan to switch to. This guide will take you through the process, helping you to compare energy bills and find the right plan for you.
How Do I Know When My Energy Tariff Is Ending?
There are a few simple ways you can find out when your energy tariff is ending:
- Call your provider: Calling your provider can be the most straightforward option. Make sure you have your account number ready and they will be able to provide the details straight away.
- Recent energy bill: If you have your most recent energy bill to hand, the end date will be provided on the section that has all of your ‘key information’.
- End of tariff notification: Ofgem regulations state that energy suppliers must notify 42 to 49 days before the end of your plan.
What Can I Do When My Energy Tariff Ends?
When your energy tariff ends, you will automatically be enrolled onto a ‘standard variable rate’ (SVR) tariff. This is not only a more expensive plan but as it varies with the market, you could end up effectively paying twice the amount of money for the same amount of energy. Even when you choose to switch, it can take up to 21 days (as directed by Ofgem) to move you onto a different plan. This is why it’s important to understand when your tariff is ending, and compare energy tariffs beforehand so that you can get a head start.
Can I Switch Energy Before My Tariff Ends?
If you want to switch before the 49 day window, you may be charged an early exit fee depending on your agreement. Therefore, if you find a cheaper deal, it’s important to factor in this charge, which could be £30 to £50. But from 49 days before, you can switch without any penalties, so it might be in your best interest to wait until this window.
What Types of Energy Deal Should I Switch To?
There are a variety of different tariffs, which will suit different people in different situations. Here we will outline a few key differences to help you make an informed choice.
- Variable rate energy tariffs: The most common of these is Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs), these tariffs are often the most expensive and charge a specific rate for the amount of energy that you use. This rate is calculated in line with the markets meaning that there is no protection against energy price rises.
- Fixed price energy: These will provide a set amount per kilowatt-hour for a fixed amount of time. It can be for 12 months or as long as three years. These tariffs will protect you from energy price rises, and are often the cheapest. This does not mean you will pay the same amount every month, but you will simply pay the same rate for the amount of energy that you use.
- Green tariffs: If you want to make sure your electricity and gas comes, at least partly, from renewable energy sources this is the tariff for you. Often this will include 100% electricity renewable and 10% gas. They will come from a variety of different renewable sources and can also be nuclear-free.
- Prepayment energy tariffs: This will involve paying for a set amount of energy before you use it. This means topping up a key or token at a local newsagents or post office. They work similarly to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone and will only work if you have topped up the credit. You will have to get a specific meter for this tariff and there will typically be a cost for this. You usually can’t get the cheapest tariffs from suppliers if you’re on a prepayment meter.
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