How You Can Get Cheap Gas & Electricity Rates

Consumers looking for cheap gas and electricity rates this coming winter season need to get moving now and lock in an energy deal, according to consumer advocate groups. People who fail to act soon could find themselves paying as much as £318 more on their energy bills this winter. Over the next 30 days, a number of energy companies will be ending their cheap fixed tariffs. Those who fail to act will find themselves dumped into more expensive standard tariffs. The prices on these deals could be as much as 10 percent more.

A good number of energy companies are ending their cheaper fixed rate deals as winter approaches. These companies are sending out letters that warn consumers that they will be dumped into standard deals that will, on average, cost households £318 extra on energy bills this season. People need to take these warning letters seriously and act now to lock themselves into a deal that fits their household energy usage and budget. Cheap Gas And Electricity

People are trending toward locking themselves into fixed rate tariffs, according to energyhelpline.com. Of the nearly 3,000 consumers who used their services, 86 percent grabbed a fixed rate tariff. The number switching rose 36 percent from July. Another 26 percent switched in early September, according to the website.

This switching is a strong indicator that people are very concerned about rising energy prices on their bills. They are trying to get ahead of rising energy prices. Spot energy prices were 20 percent higher this July than in July, 2012.

The website released a report stating that the six biggest energy companies will probably raise rates by five to 10 percent. This increase will cause the average energy bill to rise from £1,420 to £1,560.

Energy analysts reported that UK energy imports rose nine percent in the first half of 2013. The amount of natural gas in storage is also lower than last year at this time. All this will contribute to higher prices, which are likely to start hitting households later this autumn.

By the end of June, the UK had imported 1 trillion cubic feet of gas which is a record. The cold and long winter and decreased production from the North Sea contributed to the record breaking imports. The price of gas spiked in March after a pipeline was temporarily closed. Britain primarily relies on pipelines from Norway and the Netherlands  for more than 80 percent of its import supply of gas. Any interruption causes the price to rise. Cargo ships carrying liquified natural gas (LNG) mostly come from Qatar to supply the remainder of Britain’s imports. A smaller number of LNG is delivered from Algeria. As the older North Sea fields are depleted, imports rise. Gas production there dropped eight percent in the first six months of 2013. In addition, the Elgin Platform is still not operating after it spouted a major gas leak in 2012.

Domestic use of gas shot up more than 22 percent in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to the first quarter of 2012.

“The flood of concerned bill payers flocking to fixed tariffs shows that people are no longer willing to take the risk of staying exposed on a standard tariff,” said Mark Todd, the director of energyhelpline. “You could view getting on a fixed rate energy tariff now a little like getting on Noah’s ark before the flood,” he added.

Todd reminds consumers that energy prices have gone up three years in a row. Todd rejects fraking as a solution to the UK’s energy woes because it’s plodding along with no sign of a breakout. In addition, imports are increasing and that places an upward pressure on pricing.

The cheapest fixed tariff is offered by M&S and called the Energy Fix & Save, according to Todd. This deal offers an average rate of  £1,139 that is fixed until September 2014. It has a £50 cancellation fee. Consumers looking for longevity with a fixed rate deal will find it with the Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2017. The average bill is £1,350.

Consumers will need to act with some urgency to lock in cheap gas and electricity rates for themselves. Prices are going up and could go higher if Britain gets hit with another cold winter.

Laura Ginn understands that with energy prices on the rise consumers are more eager than ever to find the best energy deal. She recommends that people visit uSwitch.com and see if you can find a better deal by comparing prices of energy suppliers in your area.

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