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Thousands to get two months’ off their energy bills from today. Here's why – and how YOU can save too

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Feb 2, 2018

Vulnerable people will save up to £230 a year on their energy bills from today following the introduction of new pricing caps, says a leading charity.

Citizens Advice (CA) says the new ‘safeguard tariff’ will affect over a million people.

On average, they’ll save the equivalent of the cost of two months’ worth of fuel.

The price cap on the most expensive energy tariff  – the standard variable – has been brought in by the energy industry watchdog, Ofgem.

The aim is to prevent the most vulnerable consumers from being fleeced by these rip-off tariffs. 


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All customers are automatically switched to standard variable tariffs whenever a fixed-rate deal ends.

And almost 60% of customers are overpaying in this way.

Check out:

Here’s how one family discovered they were overpaying by £500 on British Gas’ standard rate tariff

The new cap will apply to anyone who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount, which includes some of the poorest families and pensioners.

Analysis by Citizens Advice found that customers currently on a standard variable tariff paying £1,260 a year will see their bill come down to a little over £1,030 - the equivalent of saving more than two months’ worth of energy bills.

The CA is calling on the government to follow the regulator’s lead, and bring in a cap on energy prices for all consumers.

Welcome step

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said: “From today, some of the most vulnerable energy customers will save hundreds of pounds on their bills. This is a welcome step towards making the energy market work better for consumers.

“The priority for the government must now be to introduce a price cap for the whole of the energy market sooner rather than later. We want to see energy bills capped for the 12 million people stuck on poor value default tariffs before next winter.”

How you can save way more than this on your energy bills today!

The fact is that the vast majority of households still don’t switch energy providers when a fixed-rate deal runs out.

And they don’t spend the five minutes or so that it takes to compare the cost of energy suppliers.

Ofgem figures show that the average standard variable tariff is around £300 more expensive than the cheapest fixed-rate deals on the market. 

That’s the average you could save, simply by switching.

Luckily, the message is starting to get through to consumers that this is one of the biggest – and easiest ­– savings they can make.

The fall of people throwing money away on standard tariffs is speeding up, says Ofgem.

But by the end of last year, just under 60% of customers who are not protected by the new tariff cap were still on rip off standard energy tariffs.

They are throwing money away. Are you one of these people?

Not sure what kind of tariff you're on – or even the difference between what’s available?

Check out our guide here.


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