Get peace of mind with a fixed price energy deal

Get peace of mind with a fixed price energy deal

As energy prices start to fall, Defence Discount Service members will be looking to save as much as they can on their household costs – which might mean switching to a fixed price energy deal.

To find out more, we spoke to personal finance journalist, Ruth Jackson-Kirby, for her tips on switching.

After years of pain household energy bills have been falling this year. At the same time fixed price energy deals are back. 

With falling prices though, is now the time to switch? We’re here to help you decide.

The energy price cap fell 12% in April, knocking £238 off the average annual household energy bill, according to the energy regulator Ofgem.

It allowed all of us to breathe a little easier as our energy bills fell. And the good news doesn’t stop there, experts are predicting that prices will continue to fall in 2024.

As wholesale energy prices have dropped fixed price energy deals have also returned after disappearing from the market during the energy crisis.

It may seem odd to consider a fixed price deal when prices are falling, but it does make sense. No-one can be certain prices will continue to fall – the last big energy price shocks were just that, a shock.

With a fixed price deal, you can lock in the price falls we’ve just experienced and know exactly what your gas and electricity will cost for the next 12 months.

A fixed-price energy deal means you pay a set price for each unit of gas and electricity you use for the length of the contract. Your total bill isn’t fixed – that will fluctuate depending on how much energy you use – but you know the price of your energy won’t change.

Years of unpredictable bills and shock price rises mean the value of a fixed price deal can’t be underestimated. Knowing what you will pay over the next winter can be a huge weight off your mind and make planning the household budget a lot easier.

When you are ready to switch to a fixed price energy deal you simply contact your new supplier and apply to switch to them. They will then do most of the leg work.

Your new energy firm will contact your old supplier to say you are moving and arrange for to take over your energy supply on a set date. This should be within five working days of the end of your cooling-off period – you have 14 days to change your mind after you start the switch.

If your switch takes longer than five working days your new supplier should automatically pay you £30 compensation. 

Top tips for a smooth switch

• Take meter readings on switching day

Give these readings to your new provider so they don’t charge you for energy you used before the switch. Your new energy company will send the meter readings to your old supplier so they can work out your final bill. 

• Find the final bill

Your old supplier must send you a final bill within six weeks. If they take longer than this, you may be able to claim compensation. Check the meter readings are correct on the bill. 

• Claim your credit

If your old account was in credit when you switched supplier – this is often the case in the summer months when you use less energy – they must pay you a refund within 10 working days of sending you your final bill. If they don’t, again, you may be able to claim compensation.

Did you know that Defence Discount Service members can now get a retail gift card worth up to £60 when switching to a fixed energy tariff with British Gas?

Offer available whether you’re a new or existing British Gas customer changing from a variable tariff to a fixed tariff – click the offer for more details.