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Price cap is going up – so fix your energy bills NOW

gas hobWarning: unless you get your act together and fix your home gas and electricity bills soon, you’ll be paying more come April. It was announced this week that the government’s energy price cap is going up by more than 10% from 1 April. That means if you are on a variable rate tariff, your bills will rise. This is because energy companies are likely to pass on the extra they are allowed to charge as soon as they can.

The increase will mean about 11 million households will typically see their annual bills go up by £117 a year. The new price cap will stay in place until October 2019 when it could go up again. Of course it could come down then, but are you prepared to risk it when you could fix your bills now? You’ll pay less – comparethemarket.com* says that 60% of fixed rate tariffs are already lower than variable rate tariffs. This percentage is likely to increase once the higher price cap comes in on 1 April.

I must admit I find energy bills totally incomprehensible and frankly a bit dull. But I fixed my home gas and electricity back a few months ago and am feeling a bit smug about it. I could probably have got an even better deal had I shopped around but I just opted for the fixed rate deal from my existing supplier. Partly this is because I have a few concerns about opting for the cheapest deal given that every week another small energy company goes out of business.

Moving energy suppliers is easy – see our guide here – certainly easier than moving your broadband. There are plenty of calculators online where you can work out how much you can save. Moneysavingexpert’s Cheap Energy club is great as it alerts you when you should move and suggests deals to move to. Check comparison sites such as comparethemarket*, uswitch* and Moneysupermarket.com* for deals too. You could also consider switching via a cashback site such as Topcashback* or Quidco* so you can get money back. Honestly, it’s really worth your while to move now: a little bit of online research and you’ll be protected from 1 April’s rise – best not to be an April fool...

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Thursday, 21 February 2019