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[Finance] Is it time to look at fixed rate prices for gas & electricity



Wardy's twin

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2014
8,294
I know its down to personal choice and crystal balls but does anyone have any insight on whether its a good time to change/renew on fix rates.
 

Brownstuff

Well-known member
Feb 21, 2009
1,500
Hove
I would recommend not. Although prices are going up by about 5% in Jan they are predicted to come down in the April price review and then again later in 2024. However impossible to know what’s round the corner in world events. The government would likely step in again if energy prices rocketed.
 

Blue3

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2014
5,522
Lancing
our contract which was for 3 years expired just recently and we were offered a new contract or to go onto a variable tariff after some consideration we opted for a fixed 12 month contract with the view it’s short term and we know what the budget wil be at least 12 months,obviously we are hoping the costs start to decrease but I’m not that hopeful
 

Zeberdi

Brighton born & bred
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2022
4,494
Martin Lewis says no in general, you've missed the decent prices fixes available a couple of months ago.
I know my fuel company raised the cost of fixed rate to 3 x what I would pay even under the current cap last year - in retrospect, even with the sharp increases, it was still cheaper with the price capped tariff (did customers get the government fuel rebate if they were on a fixed rate, I dont know that they did?) so there’s no guarantee companies are even selling tariffs cheaper than what customers would otherwise be paying this winter with the cap increase. Tried other companies last spring but by they were not selling to new customers at the time, maybe they are now? 🤷‍♂️
 


Joey Jo Jo Jr. Shabadoo

Waxing chumps like candles since ‘75
Oct 4, 2003
10,727
did customers get the government fuel rebate if they were on a fixed rate, I dont know that they did?
If you mean the £67 a month that was being paid this time last year then a majority of households (if not all?) should have had it. I was on a fixed rate until March this year and I certainly got it.
 

Zeberdi

Brighton born & bred
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2022
4,494
If you mean the £67 a month that was being paid this time last year then a majority of households (if not all?) should have had it. I was on a fixed rate until March this year and I certainly got it.
Yes, that was the one - I was on the capped tariff - wasn’t sure if those on the fixed rate got it or not.
 

Paulie Gualtieri

Bada Bing
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
May 8, 2018
8,823
Have just come off a 2 year fix with British Gas and was paying c£75 for gas and c£75 a month for electric

Just taken another two year fix as below

Now paying £135 electric £70 gas, so up 25%. I am not convinced the market is ready to stabilise yet so have gone for certainty.

IMG_3516.jpeg
 


Wardy's twin

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2014
8,294
I find this GUIDE from MoneySavingExpert useful…obvs no guarantee.

View attachment 170657
Thanks , I saw that on line about 30 mins ago and factored that into my projection..... I am going to fix my rate, at least I know what i will be paying for the year though its projected to be
Have just come off a 2 year fix with British Gas and was paying c£75 for gas and c£75 a month for electric

Just taken another two year fix as below

Now paying £135 electric £70 gas, so up 25%. I am not convinced the market is ready to stabilise yet so have gone for certainty.

View attachment 170654
same here not convinced about stability of fuel prices so opting with fixed rate... my own calculations and money experts online calculator indicate I will pay 4-5% above what i would pay if stayed on variable AND their estimates of rises/drops take place. In the scheme of things I will be paying £450 a year less than last year at the new fixed (assumes similar usage) so good for me.
 


Wardy's twin

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2014
8,294
If you mean the £67 a month that was being paid this time last year then a majority of households (if not all?) should have had it. I was on a fixed rate until March this year and I certainly got it.
Yes, that was the one - I was on the capped tariff - wasn’t sure if those on the fixed rate got it or not.
I went through my last years bills with a fine tooth comb , there were two discounts the £67 ones and a price cap one which was shown on my bills by a reduction in the billing I think it showed something between 17p -35p per unit of electricity and between 2p -6p for gas billed as reductions/negatives/rebates.
 


WATFORD zero

Well-known member
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Jul 10, 2003
25,424
Fixed rates are just like any type of insurance.

You will pay a small premium to insure against the volatility of the market, and that's what you should make your decision on. Are you happy to pay the small premium to offset the chance of you getting bitten by an increase (the larger the bite, the lesser the chance).

As long as you understand this, I think everyone needs to make their own decision. Sorry :shrug:
 

Zeberdi

Brighton born & bred
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2022
4,494
I went through my last years bills with a fine tooth comb , there were two discounts the £67 ones and a price cap one which was shown on my bills by a reduction in the billing I think it showed something between 17p -35p per unit of electricity and between 2p -6p for gas billed as reductions/negatives/rebates.
That makes sense and probably what I was vaguely remembering as something those on fixed tariffs didnt benefit from - there was a reduction in fuel price because there was Price Cap reduction - obviously those on fixed rates didn’t benefit because the Price Cap didn’t apply to them.

As long as you understand this, I think everyone needs to make their own decision. Sorry
I think probably most people do - unfortunately I know that i personally left it too late remaining on a variable tariff before looking to change it to a fixed tariff - by the time the war broke out in Ukraine (on top of the post-pandemic rush on oil supplies) and I was foreseeing massive fuel increases, the cheapest tariff my energy company would offer was £3,000 per year (my annual fuel bill is about £1,100.) - I even complained to the Ombudsman that other fuel companies were refusing to sell reasonably cost fixed tariffs to new customers who use a comparatively low amount of energy so were stifling the free market - they did acknowledge that and was advised the Cap would be revised keep prices down. The Price Cap however, doesn’t protect customers unless they are customers for whom household energy use is in the higher thresholds anyway - it protects the profits of the fuel companies - the higher the price cap, the more profits the fuel companies can skim off peoples household bills and it is the Government that is enabling them to do so and it is as always, hitting lower income families and single people households harder..

Personally, I would much prefer a fixed tariff for the peace of mind but it makes absolutely no economic sense for me if the cost of that tariff exceeds my average annual fuel costs on a variable in a climate where oil and gas wholesale prices are unlikely to come down for the foreseeable future.
 
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Wardy's twin

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2014
8,294
Fixed rates are just like any type of insurance.

You will pay a small premium to insure against the volatility of the market, and that's what you should make your decision on. Are you happy to pay the small premium to offset the chance of you getting bitten by an increase (the larger the bite, the lesser the chance).

As long as you understand this, I think everyone needs to make their own decision. Sorry :shrug:
Not an issue , think you are totally correct about individual decisions , I was trawling to see if there was something obvious I had missed.

Its all about 'what ifs' and to me those 'what ifs' remain still biased towards prices going up rather than down. So took the plunge having gone over the figures and working out potential plus & minuses.
 

Super Steve Earle

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2009
8,261
North of Brighton
Martin said yes a couple of months ago, so I fixed with Octopus on a Loyal Customer Fix product. Took £200 out of my pot and reduced the DD by £20pm which keeps the pot steady around £350 in credit for the winter.
 


bluenitsuj

Listen to me!!!
Feb 26, 2011
4,222
Willingdon
All current fixes are a lot more than what we currently pay.
 

Paulie Gualtieri

Bada Bing
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
May 8, 2018
8,823
All current fixes are a lot more than what we currently pay.

I came off a fixed last week, the new fixed rates were line (+-£100) with the standard variable rates on British Gas. This was the day before the energy price cap for January 2024 was announced but can’t see that having too much swing on the SVR
 

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