Time to hunt for a better energy deal

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Up to 68 per cent of households in Scotland that take both gas and electricity could save hundreds of pounds.

Research published by energy regulator Ofgem shows that householders could save in the region of £307 a year by switching to a fixed price tariff.

Ofgem’s research found the majority of the cheapest tariffs were fixed with some deals at around £765 per year, compared to £1072 for the average variable tariff with one of the larger suppliers.

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Research both by Ofgem and the Competitions and Markets Authority shows that, across the country, around 68 per cent of consumers are still on expensive standard tariffs. This trend would translate in Scotland into around 1.6 million households on standard tariffs.

Ofgem chief Dermot Nolan said: “Ofgem’s research shows that many customers in Scotland now could be better off to the tune of around £307 by moving from a variable rate to a fixed rate deal.

‘‘Switching now could take some of the pain out of this winter’s energy bills.

“Nearly half of all consumers switching are now moving to independent suppliers and not only are consumers benefiting from greater choice of supplier, but Ofgem has strengthened consumer protection for those choosing fixed tariffs.

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‘‘There has never been a better time to go energy shopping and our ‘Be An Energy Shopper’ website gives you independent advice on how to get a better energy deal and links to Ofgem-accredited switching sites.”

Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East MSP, said: “I would encourage everyone to go energy shopping this winter.

“It’s now easier than ever to find the best deal and you could save around £307 a year just by switching from a standard tariff to a fixed deal.

‘‘With Christmas just around the corner, energy shopping can actually save you money to spend on presents so make sure you add it to your Christmas shopping list.”

Customers can confidently choose to move to a fixed price deal, thanks to protections Ofgem made in 2013. Fixed means fixed. Suppliers cannot increase prices mid-way through a contract.