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Mouthy Money Your Questions Answered panellist, Martyn James, answers a reader’s question on deciding the right time to switch energy providers and when a fixed deal is worth it.
Question: Has energy switching started again and is it a good idea to lock in a fixed-rate tariff now, before the winter?
Answer: Historically the best way to save money on energy bills was switching. Yet after bills went through the roof, it no longer made sense to change providers.
Earlier in the year, most energy experts suggested that from July the price of our energy bills would drop significantly, which would mean finally – after two years – we might be able to switch providers to get a better deal.
Yet while prices have dropped, they certainly haven’t dropped to competitive levels. And that means moving to another provider won’t get you a better deal. In fact it might actually cost you money if you get locked in to a contract and miss better deals in a few months’ time.
However, there may still be some options for you. Casting an eye over the deals available at the moment, your current provider might be offering a better deal exclusively for its existing customers.
Why would they do this you ask?
Well, it makes sense to get you to commit to a good deal now for a year or two rather than jump ship at the first sign of dropping prices.
Of course, the other reason for switching is if you’re getting a rubbish service from your current energy provider. And many, many people are doing this for a variety of (worrying) reasons.
If you do switch because you hate your current provider, check that you’re not locked into the new deal for too long – and what the exit fees are if you want to bail early.
Martyn James is consumer rights expert and campaigner with over two decades of experience covering every business sector in the UK, from finance to utilities.
As a broadcaster and presenter, he appears on all the national television channels and is a regular guest and presenter on Rip Off Britain, Morning Live and The One Show, as well as commentating on breaking stories for all the news channels and bulletins. As a journalist, he has written for all the national newspapers and regularly features in the news.
Photo Credits: Pexels
Award-winning freelance journalist with a decade of experience working for online and print publications in the consumer sector.